Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 30, 2013

Canine alerts on illicit substances

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah police arrested a Coweta man Saturday after a canine officer alerted to illegal substances inside a vehicle.

Derrick Ross, 19, was booked for aggravated driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, minor in possession of low-point beer, speeding, no insurance, and transporting an open container of liquor.

Officer Cory Keele said he was patrolling on U.S. Highway 62 when he noticed Ross’ vehicle traveling 92 mph in a 45 mph zone. Keele tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued on at a high rate of speed.

Keele said the vehicle finally slowed and left the road, then jumped a curb near U.S. 62 and Southridge Road. The vehicle continued on the grass until the front tires became stuck in a drainage ditch.

Ross allegedly smelled of alcohol and nearly fell into the ditch when he got out of the vehicle.

Keele said he could also smell a slight odor of burnt marijuana, so he decided to deploy canine officer Bo around the vehicle. Bo’s behavior changed and he gave Keele a positive alert on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Keele said he searched the vehicle and found a socket that had been turned into a smoking pipe. The item contained a burnt residue, the officer said.

Police also found a glass jar with marijuana; a bag with a brown, leafy substance believed to be synthetic marijuana; and another bag of a green, leafy substance. Keele said there were two cans of unopened, low-point beer in the back seat of the car, along with an open container of liquor.

Once Keele searched the vehicle’s trunk, he discovered two bags of a green, leafy substance, he said.

Ross was transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center. Police determined, through a state test, that Ross had a breath-alcohol content of .18, more than twice the legal limit.

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