By Ray King

A Pine Bluff man was arrested Monday after sheriff’s investigators saw him throw a small object that contained suspected methamphetamine while they were attempting to handcuff him.

Joe Hurt, 34, was taken into custody by investigators Nathan Jines and Joseph O’Neal who were patrolling U.S. Highway 79 north under the Free Bridge.

Deputy Prosecutor Beth Carson said during a court hearing Wednesday that the area is known for drug activity and illegal dumping and the investigators saw a vehicle backed up near the Arkansas River.

Carson said the investigators smelled the odor of marijuana but Hurt denied there were drugs in the vehicle and said he was under the bridge fishing. He later said there was marijuana in the vehicle.

Carson said the suspected drugs will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for analysis.

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $10,000 bond for Hurt after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.

Hurt said he would hire his own attorney.