McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 14, 2013

Task force busts alleged meth house across from police station

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — McAlester police and the District 18 Narcotics Task Force busted an alleged methamphetamine lab in an apartment across the street from the McAlester police station.

According to court records, McAlester police received a report of a chemical smell in an apartment at the McAlester Plaza Apartments. The person “reported they could smell someone cooking meth,” a police affidavit states.

When police arrived on the scene and searched the apartment, they found two people and numerous items associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, police then handcuffed the two people in the apartment — Jessica Ann Smith, 28, and Thomas Logan McElroy, 23, both of McAlester. Not too long later, according to the affidavit, “a white male and a black female walked around the corner from the elevator. The white male was carrying some plastic grocery bags. ... Thomas (McElroy) looked at the white male and black female and yelled to them ‘guy this is not a good time you might want to come back later.’ The white male and black female turned around and went around the corner.”

Police then stopped the pair and looked in the grocery bags and found numerous items associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, the affidavit states. Police then arrested the pair, Mitchell Ray Stripe, 32, and Vivian Corean Redd, 23, both of McAlester.

Stripe, Smith, McElroy and Redd were charged Monday in Pittsburg County District Court with one felony count of endeavoring to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine).

They are all due back in court Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. to face charges. If convicted, they are each facing up to life in prison. They are all being held at the Pittsburg County jail — Stripe is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond, Smith in lieu of a $75,000 bond and Redd and McElroy in lieu of $50,000 bonds. They were unavailable for comment at presstime.

Contact Rachel Petersen at

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