A man tried to divert attention away from the smell of marijuana coming from his car during a traffic stop Thursday by claiming to be a Mart Youth Baseball and Softball League coach, Mart Police Chief Paul Cardenas said.

Police stopped the man near the intersection of East Texas Avenue and North Pearl Street at about 6 p.m. for driving without the car's headlights on, the arrest affidavit states. When the officer approached the driver, identified as Rashi M. Sharp, 35, of Mart, Sharp got out of the car and identified himself as a coach with the Mart Youth Baseball and Softball League, Cardenas said.

"When the officer stopped him, he jumped out the of the car and identified himself as a baseball coach," Cardenas said. "Sharp tried to use his status as (a) Mart little league baseball coach to deter (the) officer from following through with procedures for traffic stop."

A Mart Youth Baseball and Softball League official said Sharp may have occasionally volunteered to assist in coaching baseball games but that the league does not have official paid coaches. Sharp will no longer be allowed to volunteer with the league after his arrest, the official said.

After smelling marijuana, the officer asked Sharp where the marijuana odor was coming from, the affidavit states. Sharp reportedly told the officer he had "roaches in the ashtray."

The officer asked Sharp if those were the only items in the car before Sharp said he had four ecstasy pills in his backpack inside the car, the affidavit states. Inside the backpack, the officer found drug paraphernalia, including a scale, a large glass jar with suspected marijuana residue, and multiple clear plastic baggies.

Officers discovered Sharp had an outstanding Class C misdemeanor warrant for driving without a valid license in Waco.

Sharp was arrested on a state jail felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. He remained jailed Friday afternoon with a bond listed at $3,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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