Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County man arrested on drug, theft charges

Stephens County man arrested on drug, theft charges
March 25
13:14 2019

A Stephens County man was arrested on Thursday, March 21, and charged with manufacturing or dealing drugs and stealing a camper trailer.

Eric Cowan, 61, was taken into custody by Sheriff Will Holt at a property on County Road 207 near Hubbard Creek Lake. As of Monday morning, March 25, he remains in the Stephens County Jail on $200,000 bond.

On Thursday, Holt was investigating a report of suspicious circumstances, specifically a foul odor coming from the property on CR 207. According to the Complaint and Affidavit of Probable Cause for Arrest, Cowan has a criminal history of arrests dating back to 2012 that includes the possession of drugs in amounts consistent with that of a dealer.

The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office confiscated a variety of drugs and drug paraphernalia, including methamphetamine, scales, baggies, syringes and more, from a trailer where Eric Cowan was living. (Photo courtesy of the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office)

During Holt’s initial investigation of the original complaint, he discovered substances thought to be methamphetamine and items thought to be used in the selling of drugs. Additionally, it was discovered that the trailer Cowan was living in had been reported stolen out of Fort Worth a year ago.

Cowan was arrested on a charge of Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1 equal to or more than 1 gram but less than 4 grams and a charge of Theft of Property equal to or more than $30,000 but less than $150,000.

According to the affidavit, shortly after Holt arrived at the property, Cowan admitted to having marijuana in the camper. Although he initially denied having meth in the camper, he later confirmed that there was also meth there and showed the sheriff some of the drug and paraphernalia, the report states.

The suspect denied Holt permission to search the rest of the trailer. When the sheriff sent the trailer’s VIN number to Chief Deputy Kevin Roach in order to request a search warrant, Roach discovered that the trailer was listed in the law enforcement database as having been stolen in Fort Worth. Cowan was arrested and taken to the Stephens County Jail.

According to the report, Holt was told by the original owners of the trailer “that they paid $32,000 or $36,000 for this camper trailer when they bought it brand new in 2017. They only owned it for approximately three months before it was stolen. When it was stolen, it also had valuables inside of it that did not originally come with the camper.”

Once the search warrant was issued, according to the affidavit, Holt returned to the trailer and collected drug paraphernalia, including small baggies like the ones typically used by drug dealers, more than a dozen unused syringes that Cowan said were used by his friends to inject methamphetamine, pills, a digital scale that appeared to have meth residue on it, and other drug paraphernalia.

Holt reported that he seized approximately 3 grams of methamphetamine, worth about $300, which is 30 times the amount usually purchased and used by drug users. Additionally, Cowan had $647 in cash in his wallet when he was arrested. “This is more consistent with a drug dealer than someone who is only a user,” the sheriff wrote in the affidavit. “When users have cash on them, they spend it buying drugs. It should also be noted that Cowan has no meaningful or formal employment. All of the above totality of the circumstances support that Cowan is a dealer of methamphetamine …”

The sheriff’s report states that Cowan was arrested in May 2012 for Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalty Group 2 equal to or more than 4 grams but less than 200 grams and for Possession of Marijuana. A month later, he was arrested again for Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1 less than 1 gram. And, in September 2012, he was arrested for Possession of a Dangerous Drug.


Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

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