Off-duty officer reports finding drugs after arresting wanted man

An off-duty police officer who was shopping at the Walmart Supercenter on Tuesday saw a man he knew had active warrants and after placing the man under arrest, found suspected drugs.

Alex Thomas, 22, was wanted for aggravated assault and is on probation on drug charges, Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said during a court hearing for Thomas on Thursday.

Kizer said Pine Bluff Police Department Detective Michael Battles saw Thomas, and after confirming that the warrant was active, took him into custody.

According to a probable-cause affidavit from Battles, Thomas was searched for officer protection and during the search, police found a clear plastic bottle containing two individual bags of suspected methamphetamine and a bag containing suspected Xanax tablets.

Battles said in the affidavit that Thomas also had a bag of suspected marijuana in his possession, as well as $430 cash.

Because of the pending charge and because Thomas is on probation, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney agreed to Kizer’s request and set bond for Thomas at $25,000 cash-only after ruling that prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance.

Thomas said he would hire his own attorney.