Police say they uncovered a large stash of drugs for sale last week during a routine traffic stop off the Beeline Highway.
Officers arrested two people on drug-related charges after finding 9.5 grams of methamphetamine, 1.5 grams of heroin and marijuana in a silver Audi station wagon.
Payson Police officer Brandon Buckner pulled the Audi over near the Circle K and Dimi Espresso June 11 after running the vehicle’s plate and discovering the registration was suspended, said Police Chief Don Engler.
While speaking with the driver, Thomas Hugh Norris, 35, of Phoenix, Buckner noticed Norris appeared quite nervous, speaking quickly and struggling to keep his hands from shaking.
Buckner also recognized the passenger, Jacqueline Marie Turlukis, 44, of Payson, from other investigations.
Norris tried to explain to Buckner that the registration issue was just a mix up.
When he got out of the vehicle, however, Buckner noticed marks on Norris’ arm consistent with meth users.
When Buckner asked Norris about his drug history, Norris appeared uneasy and tried to deflect the question, Engler said.
While writing the ticket, Buckner asked Norris if there were any drugs in the vehicle.
Again, Norris reportedly tried to deflect the question. Norris refused to let Buckner search the vehicle so he called in Gila County Deputy Leonard “Ski” Kerszykowski and his K9.
The dog alerted officers to drugs in the vehicle and the Gila County Narcotics Task Force searched the station wagon.
Both Norris and Turlukis were arrested on drug charges including possession of drugs. Norris was also charged with transporting drugs for sale, Engler said.