Parking infraction leads to meth dealer’s arrest

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD: Safford Police seized 17 grams of meth and drug paraphernalia after noticing a parking infraction.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Parking infractions are commonplace in larger cities and in areas where a parking spot is a premium. But in Safford, enforcement of parking infractions serves more as a fishing expedition for law enforcement, and early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 27, an officer caught one that he did not throw back.

Jonathan Ingram, 31, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on charges of possession of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia after an officer located Ingram in possession more than a half ounce of methamphetamine. Ingram was on probation for a 2013 DUI charge and a petition to revoke his probation was filed the same day.   

According to a  Safford Police report, an officer was southbound in the 200 block of 6th Avenue at about 1:21 a.m. when he noticed a gray, 2013 Nissan sedan parked more than two feet from the curb. According to city code, vehicles parked on streets must be no more than 18 inches from the curb.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Jonathan Ingram

The officer stopped at the car and noticed the vehicle’s engine was running and there was a man behind the wheel along with a woman for a passenger.

After informing the occupants of the infraction, the officer inquired what they were doing parked where they were and the woman said she was there to pick up her dog, while the driver, later identified as Ingram, said he was simply giving the woman a ride home. The woman then advised she lives in the Thunderbird Mobile Home Park, which is south of Safford.

A warrant check showed Ingram had a revoked driver’s license and the woman’s driver’s license was suspended. During the entire episode, the officer reported Ingram appeared nervous and the officer believed he was under the influence of some type of drug.

Ingram eventually came clean and handed over a digital scale from his pocket that is commonly used to weigh illicit substances. He advised he had “a lot” of meth and some needles on him and gave the officer a black fabric bag.

Inside the bag was a plastic baggie with 10 grams of meth, seven smaller baggies each with a gram of meth, some needles, and a meth pipe.

Ingram allegedly told the officer that all the meth was for his personal use and that he uses one gram per day. He advised the meth was just given to him but that the current going rate for meth is just $40 per gram, down from $80-$100 per gram because of the increased quantity flooding in from Mexico. He later allegedly said he was indeed trying to sell the meth and that he currently did not have a job. 

The woman was released from the scene, and the car was released to Ingram’s grandmother. Ingram was then transported to the jail and booked on the charges listed above.