Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD: Safford Police seized this black tar heroin during a traffic stop Saturday night.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The keen eye of an officer on patrol led to the arrest of a couple on heroin and methamphetamine charges Saturday night.
Steven Michael Fernandez, 59, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on charges of possession of a narcotic drug (heroin), possession of a narcotic drug (heroin) for sale, possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. His wife, Janette Fernandez, 56, was arrested and booked on charges of possession of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to a Safford Police report, an officer was on patrol at about 10:30 p.m. when he saw a silver pickup truck being driven by Steven Fernandez, whom he knew had a revoked driver’s license.
As the officer turned to approach the truck, the vehicle quickly accelerated away. The officer activated his emergency lights and gave chase as the truck headed southbound on 8th Avenue at a “high rate of speed.”
The truck screeched through the intersection of 8th Avenue and 11th Street and came to an abrupt stop, with Steven Fernandez exiting the truck as a piece of tin foil with a cut red straw fell from the open door.
As the officer dealt with Steven, who initially resisted arrest, Janette Fernandez refused to follow the officer’s commands to remain seated in the truck.
Another officer arrived at the scene and took control of Janette as Steven called to her saying, “la puerta, la puerta,” which means “the door” in Spanish.
A search of the driver’s side door yielded 1.5 grams of black tar heroin that was inside a pill bottle and another baggie with .2 of a gram of meth. A rolled up piece of tin foil was found in a cup in the center console with burn marks and a small amount of heroin on it. Steven was also found to have $3,436.86 on him, which the officers also seized.
Janette’s purse was searched and officers located .6 of a gram of meth inside a small baggie. Janette denied ownership of the meth.
Steven allegedly admitted to using heroin but denied selling it. He also said the meth located in the door and his wife’s purse was his and that he had asked her to hold it for him. The couple were then transported to the jail and booked on their drug charges.