Search For Meth Is Ongoing Battle

Meth was discovered hidden in a flashlight during a traffic stop Monday night.

WATER VALLEY – Stashed in a flashlight or taped under a toolbox, the hunt for methamphetamine and other drugs is an ongoing battle for law enforcement officers in the county. During the last week five people have been charged with possession of methamphetamine, arrests that were made in conjunction with traffic stops by deputies. 

Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported the latest arrest was Monday night when narcotics officer Thomas West made a traffic stop on Hwy. 51, just south of County Road 35 and 209. Margaret Hart of Oakland was charged with possession of methamphetamine, two to 10 grams, after West received consent to search. The alleged drugs were hidden in a flashlight stashed in Hart’s waistline. She was booked in the Yalobusha County Detention Center. 

Humphreys said West was patrolling the area after the department received information about potential drug activity on County Road 35, the road that stretches across Enid Dam to Hwy. 51.

On Feb. 15 Jeffrey Coats was charged with possession of methamphetamine, two to 10 grams, after deputy Taylor Byford made a traffic stop for improper equipment on Hwy. 330, east of Coffeeville. Byford’s new K-9 partner, Yoda, hit on the vehicle and deputies discovered alleged meth taped under the toolbox on the bed of the truck. The sheriff reported Byford and other deputies assisted in the search for the drugs.

“The tape was actually peeling off and they spotted the baggie hanging down under the toolbox,” Humphreys said. ““This was the first arrest that our new K-9, Yoda, helped initiate,” Humphreys reported. “He is going to be a real asset for our county.”

Coats was already out on bond from Grenada County for drug charges and remains in custody in the Yalobusha County Detention Center.

The other three arrests were made in the vicinity of County Road 154 and Hwy. 330 on Feb. 13 following two separate traffic stops. Donnie McGee of Tillatoba was arrested for possession of meth, two to 10 grams, when he was stopped by West for failure to signal. West discovered the alleged meth in the vehicle after consent was given to search. McGee is out on bond.

At 7:30 p.m. the same day Marie McKee and Chance Forbes, both of Pope were arrested for possession of meth, less than two grams, following a traffic stop at the same location. This time both suspects had alleged meth in their possession.

“They gave West consent to search and he found it while patting them down,” Humphreys said.  Forbes and McKee are both out on bond.

Humphreys said the arrests stem from increased patrols in the areas, again citing information his department received from concerned citizens about potential drug activity in the area.

“We get a lot of tips from concerned citizens, it may be steady traffic in the middle of the night in an area or erratic behavior at a residence. Always remember if you see something, say something,” the sheriff explained.

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