A man on probation for possession of a controlled substance was arrested last week by investigators with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office thanks to tips from concerned citizens.

Jason “Red” Allen Nearn, 27, was arrested March 5 for possession of marijuana and was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to Chief Investigator Donnie Hensley, the department received reports that an individual was possibly dealing drugs out of a residence on CR 239.

When an investigator with the sheriff’s office responded to the location, the door to the residence was open and four individuals were inside. The investigator, who asked not to be named, met the defendant on the front porch and asked to enter the home when he saw five “partially smoked marijuana cigarettes” on a table near the door. The investigator pointed to the evidence and explained why he was there.

“He told us he thought we would be coming eventually,” the investigator said.

Nearn led the investigator to a location inside the home where more than a quarter pound of marijuana and a FEG 9 mm handgun were located.

“He was very cooperative,” the investigator said.

Sheriff Tommy Bryant said tips from concerned citizens led to Nearn’s arrest.

“This is an excellent example of how important it is for citizens to call in suspicious activities,” Bryant said. “Investigations handled by the sheriff’s office rely heavily on public information. The department follows up on all leads.”

Bryant said tipsters do not have to give their name or other personal information when calling.

“Citizens providing information can remain anonymous,” Bryant said.

For activity that is spotted in the county, citizens are urged to call the sheriff’s office at 965-3338. When making a call about potential crimes that occur within the city limits, tipsters should call the Stephenville Police Department at 968-1200 or the Dublin Police Department at 445-3455.

For possessing a firearm illegally, Nearn faces two to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. The possession charge, a state jail felony, carries a charge of 180 days to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. In addition, Nearn faces revocation of probation for potentially violating the terms of his probationary agreement. 

Nearn remains incarcerated in the Erath County Jail.