MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Ouachita Parish Sheriff deputies observed a silver car traveling south on Burg Jones Lane cross the yellow center line with both front and rear tires. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and made contact with the driver, 24-year-old Christopher Michael Ward.

According to deputies, Ward appeared to be overly nervous and they detected a strong marijuana odor coming from the car. Ward was advised by authorities to exit the vehicle and Ward complied.

Christopher Michael Ward

Deputies were denied verbal consent to search Ward’s vehicle; however, due to the marijuana odor coming from the vehicle, deputies conducted a search. Ward advised deputies that he had a jar of marijuana under the driver’s seat.

During the search, authorities discovered a pink suitcase in the trunk of the vehicle. The suitcase possessed two large vacuum sealed bags, several glass jars containing marijuana that totaled to 3.8 pounds, and a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle.

Deputies advised Ward of his Miranda Rights and he claimed ownership of the marijuana, but denied ownership of the rifle. According to Ward, the rifle belonged to a friend.

Ward was placed under arrest and transported to the Ouachita Correctional Center. He was charged with Improper Lane Use, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and Illegal Carrying of a Firearm in the Presence of Narcotics.

Ward has bonded out on a $15,150 bail.