Tahlequah Daily Press

August 16, 2013

DA seeks property forfeiture

Several vehicles, $16,000 seized in recent drug bust

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

District Attorney Brian Kuester’s office is asking the courts to approve a forfeiture of property seized during a recent drug bust.

Kuester wants a 1981 Harley Davidson, two four-wheelers, a 1989 Nuwa travel trailer, a 1997 Dodge truck and nearly $16,000 in cash taken from Ralph Johnson.

Johnson, 56, was considered a “major supplier” of methamphetamine in Cherokee County. He was charged last week with trafficking in illegal drugs and four counts of possessing a controlled dangerous substance.

Investigators arrested Johnson in mid-July in the Peggs area and allegedly found more than 20 grams of meth in his possession. The arrest was part of a lengthy investigation.

According to investigators, Johnson was also in possession of oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and marijuana, as well as $15,762.78. All of those items, along with the cash, were taken the day of Johnson’s arrest.

Johnson or any other owners of the seized items have 45 days to file an answer to Kuester’s request in district court.

According to court records, authorities in Mayes County have charged Johnson with assault and battery and have issued a warrant for his arrest with a $750,000 bond.

Johnson was given a $75,000 bond and released from jail after his arrest in Cherokee County.