Stolen license plate leads to arrest, 12 charges

A Baxter County man, 58-year-old Austin Dutton of Mountain Home, is facing 12 charges, including seven felonies, following a traffic stop Monday morning in Midway by an Arkansas State Police trooper.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the trooper observed the vehicle Dutton was driving and performed a check of the license plate. The plate had been reported stolen out of Baxter County, leading the officer to pursue Dutton’s vehicle.

When the trooper advised Dutton his vehicle tag was reported stolen, the Mountain Home man allegedly admitted he had found it at a Midway welding shop. He reportedly told the officer he had placed the stolen tag on his vehicle because his had not been registered.

Dutton was also found to have an active warrant out of Marion County and a suspended driver’s license.

A search of his vehicle led to drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The trooper transported Dutton to his residence along County Road 27. Being on probation with a search waiver on file, the trooper then located an additional seven bags with a white crystal substance, and drug paraphernalia.

Dutton is facing felony charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, as well as six additional possession charges of drugs and drug paraphernalia. In addition, he faces misdemeanor counts of theft by receiving, tampering with physical evidence, open container in motor vehicle, driving on suspended license and not having liability insurance.

His bond was set at $15,000.

Dutton made a brief appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday morning and was ordered to reappear next week for arraignment.

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