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Traffic stop nets arrests: Handguns, ski masks discovered in car following investigation

Gang arrests, a drug raid and a carjacking were all reported recently by Port Arthur Police.

PAPD public relations said via social media Saturday morning that police officer Brenden Cowart stopped a vehicle five days before in the 3800 block of Gulfway Drive for a “minor traffic violation.”

According to police, the resulting investigation resulted in the vehicle’s four occupants going to jail.

“The driver of the vehicle was arrested for defective equipment,” police said. “The three other passengers were arrested for gun charges, one of which might be filed at the federal level. It is believed that all four suspects are gang members.”
In addition to two handguns, ski masks were found in the car.

“It is believed that Cowart prevented a violent crime from happening by simply stopping the vehicle on a traffic violation,” police said Saturday.

Repeated attempts Monday by the Port Arthur News asking police to identify the suspects and expand on the initial release were unsuccessful.

Carjacking

Sgt. Jonathan Green said two male victims at the Carl Parker Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive, on the campus of Lamar State College Port Arthur reported several black male assailants held them at gunpoint, taking a vehicle belonging to one of the victims.

According to Green, the armed carjacking took place at 7:23 p.m. Friday. He said neither victim was injured and the gunmen fled the scene.

“Responding officers searched the area and found the victim’s vehicle a short distance away from the offense location,” Green said. “The suspects were not located. The suspect vehicle is described to be a white passenger car.”

Police did not respond Monday to attempts by The News to clarify any additional details on the gunmen.

Raid

Cocaine, cash and guns were found during a search of a Port Arthur home Saturday morning, police said.

According to the Port Arthur Police Department’s Facebook page, Narcotics Unit and SWAT team members executed the search warrant in the 600 block of 19th Street for the “possible discovery of cocaine.”

Police said more than 42 grams of cocaine were found.

Also seized were 140 grams of marijuana, $1,600 in cash, a 9mm handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun.

A 35-year-old Port Arthur man was arrested for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, PG1 and felon in possession of a firearm.

Port Arthur police did not respond Monday to requests by The News to release the suspect’s name or expand on the drug seizure operation.