AR: Stone County Sheriff’s Dept.: 9 pounds of illegal substance found during traffic stop

A Searcy County man has been charged with trafficking a controlled substance in Stone County.

Stone County authorities report a Honda driven by Heath J. Griffin, 40, of Leslie, was pulled over March 26 on Highway 14 near St. James for crossing the centerline of the highway numerous times and a busted tail light.

Stone County Sheriff’s Deputies Bryan Rose and Justin Balentine found that Griffin was driving on a suspended Louisiana driver’s license, and there was a warrant for his arrest from the Conway (Arkansas) Police Department, according to a media release from the sheriff’s department.

During a search of the vehicle, a shipping box was allegedly found that had been opened, containing several packages of kratom. Kratom is a Schedule I controlled substance and is illegal in many states including Arkansas. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, kratom is a highly addictive substance and contains opioid properties.

From the FDA:

Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, is a plant that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Serious concerns exist regarding the toxicity of kratom in multiple organ systems. Consumption of kratom can lead to a number of health impacts, including, among others, respiratory depression, vomiting, nervousness, weight loss, and constipation. Kratom has been indicated to have both narcotic and stimulant-like effects, and withdrawal symptoms may include hostility, aggression, excessive tearing, aching of muscles and bones, and jerky limb movements.

Rose and Balentine reported the kratom weighed approximately 4,046 grams or about 8.9 pounds.

The release also noted the kratom appeared to have been picked up in West Virginia and was being taken to an Oxley residence, just inside Stone County.

Griffin was taken to the Stone County Detention Center where he was placed on a $25,000 bond.

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National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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