McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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February 1, 2013

Text-message meth buyer pleads guilty

McALESTER — A McAlester man who text-messaged a police officer to attempt to buy methamphetamine pleaded guilty recently in Pittsburg County District Court.

Matthew Norvel Gunion, 37, pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to charges of attempted possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful use of a communication facility.

He was fined $385 and ordered to complete District 18 Drug Court. Upon successful completion of drug court, the charges will be dismissed. However, if Gunion does not successfully complete drug court he will be sentenced to serve 10 years in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

According to court records, McAlester police officer Shawn Delana received strange text messages on his city of McAlester issued cell phone — someone was looking to buy methamphetamine.

Unsure of the identity of the text message sender, and unclear about how the texter got his cell phone number, Delana went along with the text messages in stride, according to a police affidavit.

The text-message sender informed the police officer that he was sorry for contacting Delana out of the blue, but his two usual drug hookups were “missing in action,” the affidavit states. The text message sender wanted to buy $50 worth of methamphetamine in “shards,” the affidavit states. The text-message sender also agreed to pay an extra $10 for Delana’s “trouble.”

Delana set up a sting operation and set up a meeting with the unidentified text-message sender, the affidavit states. Delana called the texter’s phone number and set up a meeting. Since the two had never met before, the text-message sender described what he would be wearing so Delana could easily identify him when they met, the affidavit states.

McAlester police showed up at the meeting and arrested Gunion, who had the cell phone and $60 in his pocket, the affidavit states.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

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