16 arrested in county operation

A Pittsburg County drug operation and warrant roundup involving local, tribal, state and federal law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of 16 individuals Thursday.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said that officers and agents from the District 18 Narcotics Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Choctaw Nation Tribal Police, Pittsburg County Emergency Management, McAlester Police Department, and the Krebs Police Department joined his department Thursday in the latest mission of Operation Impact.

Morris told the News-Capital in September that his office received $35,000 from the Attorney General's Safe Oklahoma Grant Program.

The sheriff said the grant money would be used to fund Operation Impact by paying for the overtime for his deputies so they can work and focus on high crime areas and provide extra patrol across the county.

Morris said the goal was to flood an area and take as many criminals off the street as possible.

Eight individuals were arrested for drug-related warrants during the Nov. 15 operation:

• Kimberly Hartsell, 37, of Hartshorne, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance — methamphetamine, after a Sept. 24 undercover investigation led to a purchase of a “50” of methamphetamine from Hartsell’s residence in Hartshorne.

• Donald Clyde Haggard, 58, of Haileyville, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance — methamphetamine, after a Sept. 25 undercover investigation led to the purchase of $20 worth of methamphetamine from Haggard’s residence in Haileyville.

• Keri Dawn Paxton, aka Keri Dawn Solis, 28, of McAlester, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance — methamphetamine, after an Oct. 11 undercover investigation led to the purchase of $20 worth of methamphetamine in the front yard of Paxton’s residence in McAlester.

• Charles Riley Bunyard, aka Charlie Riley Bunyard, 77, of Quinton, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance after a Feb. 6 undercover operation led to the purchase of five pills of Hydrocodone — a schedule II controlled dangerous substance — from Bunyard. Court records show he was released after posting a $20,000 bond through a bondsman.

• Billy Joe Thomas Jr, 56, of McAlester, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance after an Oct. 24 undercover operation led to the purchase of Suboxone — a schedule III controlled dangerous substance — from Thomas.

• Jimmy Joe Gessel, aka Jimmy Gessell, 42, of Stuart, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance – methamphetamine, after an Oct. 15 undercover investigation led to the purchase of methamphetamine from Gessel at a local business.

• Randy Dean Martin, 51, of McAlester, was charged with felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance — methamphetamine, after an Oct. 10 undercover investigation led to the purchase of methamphetamine from Martin inside of his vehicle. Court records show Martin was released from custody after posting a $25,000 bond through a bondsman.

• Tony Leon Webster, 34, of Krebs, was charged with two counts of felony distribution of controlled dangerous substance — methamphetamine, after two undercover operations on Sept. 25 and Oct. 10, led to the purchase of methamphetamine from Webster’s residence in McAlester.

The operation led to the arrest of six other individuals with outstanding warrants:

• Lindsey Marie Funberg, 24, of McAlester, was arrested for a failure to pay warrant on a Sept. 2017 misdemeanor.

• Alexander Keith Gibson, 29, of McAlester, was arrested on outstanding failure to pay warrants stemming from a March 2013 felony and a June 2015 misdemeanor.

• Elisha Isaih Gessell, of McAlester, was arrested on outstanding failure to pay warrants on two juvenile charges from 2017 and 2018.

• Karrie Michelle Brown, 27, of McAlester, was arrested on two outstanding failure to pay warrants out of Hughes County. Jail records show the hold against Brown was released.

• Patricia Beall, 54, of McAlester, was arrested on a failure to pay warrant from an Aug. 2012 felony charge.

• Derrick Don Roop, 38, of Blocker, was arrested on a motion to revoke suspended sentence warrant stemming from a Oct. 2016 felony charge.

The operation led to two new arrests and pending charges against two local individuals:

• Charlie Edwards, 38, of McAlester, was arrested on the initial complaint of felony distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.

• Timothy Holden, 40, of McAlester, was arrested on the initial complaints of felony possession of a firearm after formal conviction and felony concealing stolen property.

A vehicle was also seized during the operation, Morris said. The sheriff said additional drug and distribution charges are anticipated following a search warrant of a residence in McAlester.

In a post on social media, Morris said the following:

“I would like to thank all agencies that were involved and assisted in this warrant round-up. One agency can not make this big of an impact in our county, it takes all of law enforcement to stand together and work as one.”

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com