Houston arrested on drug, weapons charges

CLINTON — A Clinton woman is facing four felony charges stemming from a traffic stop.

Samantha B. Houston, 31, 232 Third Ave. South, is charged with one count of controlled substance violation, a Class B felony; one count of failure to affix drug stamp, a Class D felony; and two counts of dominion/control of a firearm/offensive weapon by a felon, a Class D felony.

Houston is charged in a separate case with one count of possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense, a Class D felony.

A preliminary hearing in both cases is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney James McHugh on Jan. 30 filed a petition to revoke Houston's probation. The petition states a warrant should be issued for her arrest. A revocation hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 12.

Houston in June 2017 appeared in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for one count of possession with intent to deliver morphine, a Class C felony; carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor; and possession of clonazepam, a serious misdemeanor.

Clinton County District Court Judge John Telleen ordered sentences of up to 10 years for the felony drug charge, up to two years for the misdemeanor weapons charge and up 30 days with credit for time served for the misdemeanor drug charge all be suspended. Houston was placed on probation for two years. The special terms of probation were ordered to include Houston obtaining a substance abuse evaluation and following any recommended treatment and abstaining from all controlled substances and alcoholic beverages.

According to the affidavit, officers on Jan. 28 were working in an unmarked police vehicle. At 5:09 p.m., they conducted a traffic stop on a silver Pontiac Grand Prix. The vehicle was stopped in the 200 block of Third Avenue South for an improper third brake light. Houston was identified as the driver. Houston's information was run through a computer check, which showed she had a suspended license. Houston was arrested for driving while license suspended.

Officers saw a backpack in front of the passenger seat and a bag containing a green, leafy substance consistent with marijuana, court records state. A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted. An officer located a loaded, small caliber pistol with a round chambered under the driver's seat, the affidavit states. An officer searched the unzipped/open backpack that had the bag of marijuana on top of it. An officer located a second handgun with a loaded magazine and no round chambered and a second bag of suspected marijuana. The backpack also contained a lockbox that was locked. The backpack was seized for further investigation.

The affidavit states that at the Clinton County Jail, Houston was provided a Miranda warning. Houston said she understood her rights. She admitted possession of both handguns found in the car. Houston's criminal history showed two felony convictions in Iowa. Houston was charged for the marijuana found on and in the backpack due to the indicia within the backpack and Houston's admission of the pistol found within, court records state. Houston's criminal history revealed prior drug convictions.

A search warrant application was completed for the lockbox on Jan. 29. When executing the search warrant, officers located within the lockbox one plastic bag containing a large quantity of a crystal-like substance, a small black digital scale with crystal-like residue, numerous empty and unused small, plastic baggies and a large plastic cup covered in a crystal-like substance, court records state.

In the court records, officers allege they found "ice" methamphetamine that weighed approximately 10 ounces (284 grams), with packaging. Officers say Houston was estimated to be in possession of upwards of 2,840 doses of methamphetamine, carrying an estimated street value of $28,400.