McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 25, 2013

Charges dismissed for 5 people in manufacturing meth case

McALESTER — Charges were dismissed recently for five people in a manufacturing methamphetamine case.

“The attorneys for the defendants filed a motion to suppress evidence found pursuant to the execution of a search warrant,” said District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward. The first officer on the scene smelled a chemical odor, Ward said, and based on that he entered the house without a search warrant. “He (allegedly) made certain observations (while inside the home) of drug-related items which was the basis for a search warrant (being issued),” Ward said.

Because the officer was not able to adequately articulate that the chemical odor he smelled was indicative that it may be a danger to people, Ward said, any evidence found of alleged methamphetamine manufacturing activity was no longer usable evidence in court. “We had to agree with the defense that the search warrant was insufficient and therefore the case had to be dismissed,” Ward said.

Multiple drug-related felonies and misdemeanors were dismissed March 6 for:

• Angela Pree Eldridge, 37, of McAlester;

• Melissa Mae Rodriguez, 33, of McAlester;

• Jeremy Paul Eldridge, 31, of McAlester;

• Allen Ray Jewell, 36, of Okmulgee; and

• James M. Evans, 36, of McAlester.

The group was charged in the case in September after authorities searched a home on East Taylor Avenue in McAlester. They were all charged with manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance, maintaining a place for keeping /selling controlled substances and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, Angela Eldridge was charged with knowingly possessing a drug product containing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

Also charged in the case were Hayley Lucille Floyd, 20, of McAlester, and Timothy Wayne Jewell, 39, of McAlester.

The case against Floyd was dismissed Nov. 28 and re-filed as a misdemeanor case, in which she pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. She was fined $330 and sentencing was deferred for one year.

Timothy Jewell pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. After pleading guilty to the reduced charges, Timothy Jewell was fined $910 and sentencing was deferred for one year.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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