Tahlequah Daily Press

March 15, 2013

Area pair facing drug charges

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Two Adair County residents are facing drug charges in Cherokee County following their early March arrests.

Misty Nicole Sanders, 23, of Westville, is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance; driving a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating substance; and obstructing an officer and driving without a valid license.

Erik Samuel Claphan, 21, of Stilwell, is charged with possession of a CDS and public intoxication.

Both are free on $10,000 bonds, court documents show.

Tahlequah Patrolman Cory Keele conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle March 2, shortly before 2 a.m., after seeing the car take what he believed to be actions to avoid detection by police.

Keele said the vehicle turned into the driveway of a home, but the people in the vehicle never got out of the car. The vehicle later backed out of the driveway and drove off without its headlights on.

Keele stopped the vehicle and the driver, who was eventually identified as Sanders, allegedly gave him the name of another woman. A check revealed a clean driver’s license on the name Sanders gave, but Keele said the woman had dilated pupils and kept putting her hands under the seat.

Sanders was arrested, and Keele said she became “very upset” and began to cry, saying the “stuff” in her pocket was “fake and not real.” Keele said she had a plastic case that contained a filter in her pocket, and the filter later field-tested positive as methamphetamine.

Claphan, a passenger in the vehicle, looked intoxicated and was falling asleep, according to Keele. He allegedly told officers he had consumed about 18 alcoholic beverages. He was tested and then arrested.

Keele said the two repeatedly asked him to let them leave and take the car, so the officer used canine officer “Bo” to check around the vehicle. Bo allegedly gave a positive alert on the driver’s side door. Keele said he found, in the driver’s side floorboard, a plastic container containing a clear bag with a white residue inside.

Under the passenger seat, the officer found a wallet with Claphan’s information, along with a clear bag with white residue inside of it, and a blue glass pipe with residue.

Sanders and Claphan were transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center. Sanders became “very upset” and finally told Keele she had given him a false name when she was initially arrested. The officer confirmed the information and learned Sanders had no valid driver’s license. She allegedly told Keele she had given him the name of her best friend, with whom she switches identities to “get out of trouble.”

While booking her in, officers discovered, in the back of Sanders’ pants, two clear bags with a white residue that field-tested positive as methamphetamine.