Traffic stop yields heroin, handgun and 4-year-old

Couple charged; child placed in protective custody

Oregon State Police on Tuesday made a "disturbing" arrest near Central Point in which a man and woman from Clatsop County were allegedly found with heroin and a handgun in their car along with a 4-year-old child.

Just before midnight, a trooper pulled over a 2014 Mazda MZ6 for speeding in the northbound lane of Interstate 5 near milepost 32. The occupants of the Mazda were identified as driver Marie Danial Johnson, 28, of Astoria, and Dustin William Taylor, 27, of Seaside. Also in the car was Johnson's 4-year-old son.

The trooper made a troubling discovery upon glancing inside the car, according to OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings.

"The trooper noticed a gun under the passenger's seat," Hastings said. "When a gun is seen during a stop, it's time to get it out of the car for the safety of everyone involved."

A subsequent search of the Mazda turned up approximately two grams of heroin, which appeared packaged and ready for sale, Hastings said.

It is not known whether the pair intended to sell the heroin somewhere in Southern Oregon or if they were passing through the area on the way back north, Hastings said.

"We are looking into where the heroin was intended," Hastings said.

Johnson was arrested on a charge of unlawful possession of heroin and lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $15,000 bail.

Taylor was arrested on charges of possession of heroin, distribution of heroin, unlawful possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was lodged on $55,000 bail.

The heroin was seized into evidence. Additional charges could be pending once the case reaches the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, officials said.

"The trooper felt there was enough heroin present for the distribution charge," Hastings said. "We certainly have made larger seizures, but this was an important arrest considering a child was involved."

The child was taken into protective custody by Department of Human Services workers.

"It is certainly disturbing that a child was inside this vehicle," Hastings said. "But the child is safe, so that's what is important right now."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or cconrad@mailtribune.com. Receive daily Southern Oregon crime updates at www.twitter.com/mtcrimebeat


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