Alleged fentanyl dealers thwarted by rearview mirror decorations

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Cody Bowman, 32, left, and Tanner Pontious, 29, right, were booked into jail on multiple drug charges.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Two alleged fentanyl dealers were arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on June 17 after one of them was pulled over for having items blocking his windshield. 

Cody Bowman, 32, and Tanner Pontious, 29, were booked on charges of possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic drug for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bowman has an extensive local record and had just pleaded guilty to drug charges in April, while Pontious has an active felony arrest warrant out of Colorado.  

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was parked along U.S. Highway 70 at about 12:05 a.m. when  a 2012 Toyota Rav 4 drove past westbound with “multiple items hanging from the rearview mirror.” The officer noted he also recognized the driver as Bowman and was aware his driver’s license was suspended. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Cody Bowman

The officer then initiated a traffic stop for the objects hanging from the mirror. Upon contact, the officer noticed Bowman appeared to be holding a cut straw commonly known as a “tutor” and utilized to ingest illicit substances. At that time, the officer took Bowman into custody and located nearly $3,750 in cash on him. A search of the car also yielded a couple of counterfeit Oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl, a meth pipe, and other drug paraphernalia. 

During their investigation, officers learned Bowman was staying at Motel 6 in Safford. Bowman allegedly admitted more drugs were in the motel room with another person (Pontious), and that more would be coming from Phoenix the following day. Bowman refused to allow officers to search his room, but they were granted a search warrant by a judge. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Tanner Pontious

At about 2 a.m., officers made entry into the hotel room and detained its occupant, Pontious, who said he believed he was in Colorado. Pontious reportedly said he was unsure how he got to Arizona and denied knowing Bowman. 

A search of the room yielded various drug paraphernalia, about 11 grams of crystal methamphetamine, and 113 counterfeit Oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl.  

The drugs were seized as evidence and both men were booked into jail.