It began as just another routine traffic stop for Payson Department of Public Safety Officers Brett Rye and Doc Dimbat, but ended with the discovery of more than a quarter pound of methamphetamine, with a street value of between $4,000 to $6,000.
On Sunday, Sept. 28, Rye and Dimbat pulled over Rick Allen McCurdy, 36, of New Mexico, for speeding a few miles south of Rye on Highway 87.
"The two officers, after talking with the guy, realized that something wasn't right with him. He was either intoxicated or impaired by drugs," Gila County Narcotics Task Force Det. Jim Oestmann said. "He was acting irrational, making a lot of erratic movements, talking in a manner consistent with someone impaired by meth."
Rye and Dimbat asked McCurdy if they could search his vehicle for drugs or any kind of contraband.
"He agreed to allow that search," Oestmann said, "and as the search started he asked if he could get a black bag out of his vehicle."
At that point, officers did know what might have been in the black bag and asked McCurdy if they could retrieve it for him. McCurdy ignored them and went for the satchel.
"He was told to stop, but he continued. The officers had to detain him and then he started resisting and fighting them," Oestmann said.
The scuffle was on, said Oestmann. A third DPS officer, Bernadette Koren, showed up and the three finally subdued McCurdy.
"At that point, officers placed him under arrest for resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer," Oestmann said.
When the officers opened up the satchel, they found six baggies of meth, five larger baggies and one personal-use-size bag, Oestmann said.
Upon seeing the drugs, officers called Oestmann down to assist with the investigation.
"We found the meth, a used meth pipe, and a digital scale to weigh out the drugs," Oestmann said. Also in the bag was a large knife with an approximate 10-inch, serrated blade.
Oestmann said McCurdy was unwilling to talk with investigators.
"We are still conducting an investigation and sorting through evidence," Oestmann said. "We did find a receipt from a motel in Tucson, which is a pretty common place for traffickers picking up drugs."
McCurdy was booked in the Payson jail on three counts of resisting arrest and aggravated assault, one count of possession of dangerous drugs, one count of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, and one count of possession of paraphernalia.
McCurdy was transported to the Globe jail and remains in custody in lieu of $10,000.