PRESTONSBURG – Prestonsburg Police Officer Nick Bingham received a complaint of a vehicle driving erratically traveling Northbound on US 23 on Friday (Feb. 10). Upon observation, Bingham witnessed the vehicle swerving and crossing the center line several times. He initiated a traffic stop on a 2004 Dodge Ram driven by a female subject and an arrest followed.
“When I made contact with Ms. Stepp, she appeared nervous and had difficulty understanding me,” said Bingham. “She asked me to repeat myself several times and kept repeating that she was on her way to visit her brother. When I asked for her driver’s license, she advised me she did not have them with her because she left them in a different purse. She identified herself as Jamie Frasure.”
Stepp was given a field sobriety test and was unsteady on her feet, had trouble balancing and could not perform the HGN test. The HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) test is a standard field sobriety test often used to determine if a suspected DUI driver is under the influence of alcohol. The officer observed her pupils were constricted and unresponsive to light change.
“As I questioned Stepp, she advised me she had taken a couple Percocets and upon closer examination appeared to have pill residue around her nostril,” added Bingham.
After failing to successfully complete a field sobriety test, Bingham once again asked the female subject what her name was, in which at that time stated her name was Judith Stepp. She then said she had an ID in her purse. When asked why she lied originally, she claimed she was nervous because she was driving on a DUI suspended license.
Upon further questioning, Stepp admitted she had taken Oxycodone and she had more inside her purse. After searching Stepp’s purse with her permission, six Oxycodone pills in a cigarette wrapper were discovered along with several more Oxycodone, Morphine, Xanax and numerous unidentified pills. A total 45 Suboxone strips were found inside a Ziploc baggie. While searching the vehicle, a money bag containing approximately $20,000 cash was discovered with an additional $400 cash inside her wallet.
Stepp was arrested and lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center. She was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving on DUI suspended license, possession of a controlled substance – second degree, possession of a controlled substance – third degree, trafficking in a controlled substance – first degree, trafficking in a controlled substance – second degree, prescription controlled substance not in the proper container and giving an officer a false name or address. She was released on February 13 on a $2,500 partially secure bond.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.