McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 8, 2013

Two men found guilty in fed. court for trafficking drugs in McAlester

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Two men accused of trafficking drugs into McAlester have been found guilty by a federal jury.

Anthony (Tony) Dexter Washington II, 27, of Oklahoma City, and Maurice Elon Edwards, 28, of Spencer were found guilty on Sept. 18 by a federal jury of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

In January, trafficking charges against the two men were dismissed in Pittsburg County District Court because they were to be federally indicted, according to court records.

The charges arose from an investigation by the McAlester Police Department, the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Task Force.

Washington was originally charged in Pittsburg County with five different drug related felonies in January 2012. Then, on Aug. 9, those charges were dismissed and the next day he was charged in federal court with trafficking in illegal drugs and unlawful possession of a controlled drug with the intent to distribute.

According to court records, Washington was at the West Ridge Apartments in McAlester on Jan. 14, 2012, and allegedly had a variety of drugs in his possession.

He was arrested that day and booked into the Pittsburg County Jail. Washington is currently in custody with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.

Edwards was charged March 6 with various drug charges, including:

• Trafficking in methamphetamine;

• Unlawful possession of a controlled drug (cocaine) with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a park;

• Unlawful possession of a controlled drug (marijuana) with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a park;

• Possession of a controlled substance (Lortab) within 1,000 feet of a park; and

• Possession of a controlled substance (Xanax) within 1,000 feet of a park.

According to court records, police searched a rented vehicle that was allegedly in the custody of Edwards and found 20 grams of meth, cocaine, 14 bricks of marijuana, and Lortab and Xanax pills.

Meanwhile, the evidence presented at federal trial proved that on or about Jan. 14, 2012, in McAlester, “the defendants, did aid and abet one another to unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally possess with the intent to distribute five grams or more of actual Methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, a Schedule II controlled Substance and a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of Marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance,” the press release states. 

Ronald A. White, district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, presided over the trial.

Washington and Edwards will remain in custody of the United States Marshal Service pending sentencing.

The statutory range of punishment is five to 40 years imprisonment and/or up to $5 million in fines.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.