By Joe Joihnson
An Athens man was arrested Wednesday night on a federal narcotics charge, Athens-Clarke County police said,
The suspect, 49-year-old Howard Michael Burnham Gowan of Stoneybrook Circle was arrested after an officer on patrol at Bethel Midtown Village ran a computer check on Gowan’s van because the officer had never before seen the vehicle at the apartment complex.
A 911/communications officer told the cop that the van’s registration returned to Gowen, whose name was in a national law enforcement database as having a methamphetamine arrest warrant on file with the U.S. Marshals Service, according to police.
The officer followed Gowan's van to a North Oconee River Greenway parking lot, where he searched the vehicle and located a small quantity of marijuana in a box and some crack cocaine beneath the driver’s side floor mat, police said.
Gowen was arrested on the federal warrant and a local charge of possession of cocaine.
The Marshals Service placed a hold on Gowan’s release from the Clarke County Jail, according to police.
Gowan has been arrested numerous times over the past three decades, mostly on drug charges.
In 2014 he accused a male nurse at an Athens hospital of sodomizing him, but a grand jury declined to indict the nurse