Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor 1st degree.
On August 17, 2017 at approximately 1933 hours, Deputy Brown was patrolling the 2000-3000 block of W. Ave B, when he observed a red 1997 Toyota Corolla bearing Arkansas license 314126, commit the traffic violation of no turn signal, in violation of Arkansas code 27-51-403, in Hope, Hempstead County, Arkansas.
Deputy Brown made contact with the driver of the vehicle, Ella Cottingham. Brown observed a bag in the backseat containing several cold Bud Light beer. Deputy Brown asked Ella to step out of the vehicle and speak with me, she complied. Deputy Brown asked Ella if there was anything illegal on her person and she stated no. Deputy Brown asked Ella if he could check to make sure and she advised he could.
Ella appeared to be very nervous. Ella stated she had some Xanax in her purse, but they were in a bottle. Deputy Brown asked Ella if he could see the medication and she asked the passenger and owner of the vehicle, Dean Picket to get it out of her purse. Dean got the medication out and showed officers. Deputy Brown asked Ella if there was anything else in her purse and she stated no. He asked Ella if he could check her purse to make sure. Ella shrugged her shoulder and said let's take a look, but there is nothing in there.
Ella took a Marlboro cigarette pack out of her purse, along with a little blue change purse. Deputy Brown asked Ella if there was guns or drugs in her purse. Ella stated she had a gun, then pulled a black revolver out of her purse and threw it on the ground. Deputy Brown got Ella away from the gun and secured it. While getting Ella away from the gun, he placed her cigarette's and blue change purse on top of the vehicle. Deputy Brown recovered the firearm and it had 5 unspent .38 special rounds in it.
Once the firearm was secured, he spoke with Ella again. and asked Ella if anything illegal was inside the vehicle and she stated not that she knows of, there should not be. While speaking with Ella she asked for her pack of cigarettes so she could smoke. Deputy Brown got her cigarette pack from on top of the vehicle, he observed a clear bag inside the cigarette pack containing suspected methamphetamine. Ella was placed under arrest at this time.
There was a one-year old child in the backseat and the mother was not present. Deputy Brown asked Ella where the mother was and she did not know, Ella stated she met the mother and got the baby to watch him for a little while.
The child was released to the passenger and owner of the vehicle, Dean Pickett who agreed to get the child to the mother. Deputy Brown provided DHS with all the information on the mother and incident DHS will investigate the matter in regards to the child.
Ella was transported to the HCDF where she was charged with Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor 1st degree. Ella was turned over to the on-duty jail staff for booking process. She will be held for a 1st court appearance.