Traffic stops lead to drug arrests, charges

Published 6:45 am Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Austin residents were arrested Thursday in separate incidents for driving under the influence of narcotics.

The first came at around 1 a.m., when an officer on patrol near the intersection of Eighth Street Northeast and Oakland Avenue noticed a car driving without headlights. The car was pulled over in the 1000 block of Oakland.

The driver, 20-year-old Zachary Paul Gulbranson, appeared sweaty and fidgety while speaking with the officer, according to a criminal complaint. He was asked if he had been drinking and he said ‘no.’ He also said he was coming from a friend’s house about 20 yards away, but no homes are near that intersection.

The officer then asked Gulbranson to exit the vehicle. He passed an alcohol breath test, but was unable to pass several other field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. During a pat search, the officer found a number of individually wrapped pills in the defendant’s pocket, the complaint states.

A subsequent K-9 search of his vehicle uncovered the drugs Adderall, buprenorphine and clonazepam, which are all controlled substances. The dog also found a small amount of cocaine stored inside an empty soda can.

Gulbranson was charged Friday with four counts of felony fifth-degree drug possession, as well as two lesser DWI offenses. He is scheduled for arraignment May 3.

The second Thursday incident occurred at around 11:15 p.m., this time in the 800 block of First Avenue Southwest. An officer noticed a vehicle swerving and speeding, so the driver was pulled over. The car’s plates also came back to a 25-year-old suspended motorist.

The driver at the time, 37-year-old Mark Kilgore, provided his own license but could not provide proof of insurance. He called the 25-year-old man and asked about the insurance. While this was going on, the officer did a records search and learned that Kilgore had been convicted on drug crimes involving methamphetamine on several prior occasions, according to a criminal complaint.

Kilgore was asked to exit the vehicle and questioned about any narcotics use. He said he had used meth within the last 24 hours but that it wasn’t affecting his ability to drive.

A pat search of the defendant uncovered roughly 1 gram of meth inside a plastic straw. Kilgore was arrested, and on Friday charged with four counts of felony fifth-degree drug possession, as well as two lesser DWI offenses.

He is also scheduled for arraignment May 3.