Report of suspicious vehicle leads to drug arrest

Police checking a suspicious vehicle behind a boat dock off University Drive Tuesday night arrested two men, one of them on drug related charges.

Billy Paradise, 51, who was driving the vehicle, was taken into custody after police found a syringe in the vehicle and a small clear bag containing methamphetamine, Vice and Narcotics Detective Marquis Blake reported in a probable cause affidavit.

A second person who was in the truck, John Want, was arrested on misdemeanor warrants.

Blake reported that when police approached the truck, they saw Paradise appear to hand something to a female who was in the back of the vehicle, and when they approached Paradise, saw a cup containing a liquid between Paradise’s legs.

After checking the identification of Want, Paradise and the female, Want was arrested on the outstanding warrants and when Want and Paradise stepped out of the vehicle, police reported seeing the syringe in the driver’s door.

Paradise reportedly claimed he did not know anything about the syringe, telling police the vehicle was not his.

The methamphetamine was found inside a cigarette package that was on the driver’s seat, Blake said in the affidavit.

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $5,000 bond for Paradise after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Paradise, whose criminal history went back to 1985 and who had multiple prior convictions, said he would hire his own attorney and was told to come back to court Dec. 13.