Traffic stop leads to drug bust Thursday

Published 12:28 am Friday, February 8, 2019


NATCHEZ — A routine traffic stop Thursday morning on Miller Avenue led to the discovery of multiple drugs and a firearm in the possession of a convicted felon.

Mario Levell Hartwell, 26, of Natchez, was arrested on charges of resisting an officer, possession of a weapon by convicted felon and possession of marijuana, schedule II and schedule IV drugs.

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Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said, a Natchez police officer initiated the traffic stop just after 10 a.m. for a suspected window tint violation, and the driver, Hartwell, was found with a half-smoked joint and multiple drugs stashed in his crotch.

After further search of the vehicle, Armstrong said officers found two bags of marijuana, a loaded .38-caliber revolver, 20 amphetamine tablets and 59 Xanax tablets in unmarked bottles and $75 in cash.

Armstrong said Hartwell had already been convicted for a felony charge of credit card fraud and should not have had a weapon in his possession.

As officers were arresting Hartwell, he attempted to climb back in his vehicle and flee the scene, officials said, and an officer used a taser to subdue him.

Armstrong said his officers believe Thursday’s traffic stop interrupted a drug transaction based on the evidence collected.