A simple traffic violation led to the arrest of two people and the discovery of drugs.
On Feb. 27, Tahlequah Police Officer Matt Frits was on patrol on Downing Street when he conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for defective equipment. Savana McGee gave the officer her information, and the passengers, Terry Starr and another man, gave him their driver's licenses. McGee said they were coming from Stilwell and were heading to a friend's house in Tahlequah. Frits could smell marijuana in the vehicle and asked McGee to step outside. Dispatch advised McGee's license had been suspended or revoked, although all three occupants were clear of warrants. McGee was arrested, and Office Mitchell Sellers and Frits searched searched Starr and the other passenger. Starr said there was marijuana in the vehicle as well as an open container of liquor. Frits found the marijuana, alcohol, and methamphetamine. McGee was taken to jail and booked for driving with a suspended/revoked driver's license, defective equipment, transporting an open container, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and no insurance. Starr was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and public intoxication. The other passenger was released.
Sgt. Justin Leatherwood was on patrol Feb. 28 when he saw a red Mustang traveling at a high rate of speed, and run a red light at the intersection of Choctaw Street and College Avenue. Leatherwood conducted a traffic stop on the driver, Alene Renee Wacoche, who appeared to be under the influence and said she had just left Dewain's Place. Wacoche was arrested for driving under the influence and failing to stop at a red light after she couldn't perform a field sobriety test.
Officer Michael Gray responded to the Shoe Dept. on March 1 after two men stole footwear. An employee said the men were in the store for 15 minutes before they tried to leave, wearing the shoes. Officer Chase Reed made contact with Thomas Bear, who matched the description of one of the two. Bear was transported back to the store, where the employee positively identified him as the shoplifter. Bear said he wasn't going to give officers the name of the other man, and he was transported to jail for petit larceny.
On Feb. 24, Officer Frits was patrolling on the Bertha Parker Bypass when he noticed a vehicle with no tag lights. Frits pulled the vehicle over and made contact with James Deerinwater, who admitted he didn't have a valid driver's license. Dispatch confirmed the license was suspended but Deerinwater was clear of warrants. Deerinwater was arrested for the violation and transported to jail.