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Police officer on a break makes drug arrests

COVINGTON — It goes to show that a police officer can never really take a break.

Covington Police Department Officer Chris Smith stopped by QuikTrip on U.S. Highway 278 around 9:30 p.m. Saturday to get something to drink when he recognized the man in the driver’s seat of a car parked in the handicapped parking spot.

“Officer Smith was familiar with (Beau) Basham due to being out with him before and knew that he had a suspended drivers license and was (also) not handicapped,” the incident report states.

As Smith was walking past the 2004 Ford Crown Victoria where the 27-year-old Basham was sitting, Basham started to get out of the car, the report states. Smith reported that Basham was acting very nervously and “appeared to be impaired and high.”

“Officer Smith asked him if he had obtained a valid license and he replied no,” the report states.

Basham then told Smith that he was only in the driver’s seat while he was waiting for his girlfriend, Crystal Luna, who went inside the convenience store.

Soon, Luna exited the store. Basham returned to the car and Smith began speaking with Luna. She told the officer the car belonged to her mother, who is handicapped.

“While speaking to Ms. Luna, Officer Smith noticed that she appeared to be impaired also,” the report states. “While speaking with Ms. Luna, Mr. Basham was fumbling around with something in the car between the front two seats.”

Smith told Luna he suspected they were in possession of narcotics. Luna gave him permission to search the car, according to the report.

Inside the car, the officer found a hardback sunglasses case in the backseat floorboard that contained three small bags containing a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a small bag containing suspected marijuana.

When asked about the drugs, both Basham and Luna denied they belonged to them. Smith placed them both under arrest.

As Smith was placing Basham in the back of a patrol car, Basham reportedly told Smith that the drugs belonged to Luna and that she had a pipe in her possession as well.

Smith called for a female officer to come to the QuikTrip to search Luna. That officer found a piece of a crystal-like substance in her front pants pocket and a glass smoking pipe in her front jacket pocket wrapped in a bra.

Luna, 35, of 1110 Cleveland Ave. in Buckhead, and Basham of 65 Pickett Bridge Road, were charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.