Tahlequah Daily Press

May 23, 2013

Former band director busted in park

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A Tahlequah man fired from his role as the Tahlequah Middle School band director in March was arrested by police this week on allegations that he was in possession of methamphetamine at a city park.

Andrew J. Frazier, 36, was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, public intoxication, and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was given a $5,000 bond and has since been released from custody.

Formal charges have not been filed.

Tahlequah Police Officer Todd Carnes arrested Frazier at about 2 p.m. Monday near Water and Choctaw, at a city park. Carnes was sent to the park to investigate a report of a man smoking meth.

Frazier was standing on a bridge at the park smoking a cigarette, according to Carnes, and was acting “extremely nervous” and sweating profusely.

Carnes wrote Frazier a citation for smoking in the park, and then noticed Frazier’s eyes were constricted. Carnes said Frazier participated in and failed a standardized field sobriety test.

Carnes asked Frazier for permission to search his vehicle, to which Frazier replied, “I’d rather not,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Frazier opened the driver’s side door and allowed Carnes to look into the vehicle without getting in, and did the same on the passenger’s side, according to Carnes’ report.

The officer noticed a plastic bag in the passenger-side floor board. Frazier retrieved the bag and pulled out a sock, which allegedly contained a light bulb and a straw. Many authorities say these items are commonly used as drug paraphernalia.

Orvil Loge, a Muskogee attorney, represents Frazier and said he had Frazier take an “11-panel drug test” at a Tahlequah hospital within two hours of his release from jail Tuesday.

“It came up negative for any illegal substance,” said Loge. “Mr. Frazier adamantly denies the charges and believes that a family friend has set him up. We’ll be requesting an investigation into that person.”

Frazier was ousted by board members of Tahlequah Public Schools earlier this year after five years as the TMS band director. Among the allegations leveled against Frazier, at the time, was his admitted use of prescription Xanax, which reportedly affected his ability to work and led to his arrest in Muskogee in January. Charges were dropped against Frazier when he was able to produce a prescription for the pill police said they found in his car.