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Three charged after lighting up during traffic stop

Three people with Salisbury addresses were charged on Saturday with using drug paraphernalia after lighting cigarettes during a traffic stop.

Amber Nacole Austin, 25, of 136 Geiger Road, Salisbury, Phillip Cody Morgan, 30 of 850 Sides Road, Salisbury, and Brittany Dawn Thomas of 3010 Sue Road, Salisbury, were charged after a syringe, two scales, plastic packaging bags and a pipe were found during a search of the vehicle the trio were riding in.

The stop occurred when a Rowan County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a car with a broken left headlight at the intersection of South Main Street and Rowan Mills Road, according to an incident report. Four people were in the car, including Austin, Morgan and Thomas.

The incident report states that all four people in the car “lit a fresh cigarette” as the deputy reached the car’s driver’s window, which the incident report states was a reason to believe the four were trying to mask a smell.

The deputy asked Morgan if there was anything illegal in the vehicle. Morgan responded by shrugging his shoulders and saying: “sure, I guess.” When the deputy asked for consent to a search, Morgan responded: “Sure, I don’t think there is anything illegal in here,” the incident report states.

Austin also said the car didn’t contain any illegal items, according to the report.

The three passengers, as well as Morgan, were subsequently searched by deputies.

Sheriff’s deputies found a syringe when searching Morgan, a smoking pipe in Austin’s purse, a scale and small plastic bags in Thomas’ purse and a second scale under the driver’s seat.

Sheriff’s deputies didn’t find anything on the fourth passenger, who is unnamed in the incident report.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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