Court documents state a man caught with more than 31 grams of suspected methamphetamine told police he was “just trying to sell enough to support his habit.”

Matthew Ryan Verrona, 42, of McAlester, was charged June 10 with felony trafficking in illegal drugs and misdemeanor unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, according to documents filed by the District 18 District Attorney’s Office.

Verrona was being held Friday in the Pittsburg County Jail on a $35,000 bond along with a $15,000 bond for an application to accelerate on previous charges.

According to an affidavit prepared by McAlester Police Officer Cody Donoley, the officer observed a white Cadillac with a brake light out and stopped the vehicle.

The driver — identified as Verrona — could not provide the officer with valid proof of insurance and when the officer ran his information through dispatch, Donoley learned the man had a warrant through McIntosh County and took him into custody, the affidavit states.

During a vehicle search, officers found a bible that was made into a safe and after obtaining the key, found a set of digital scales, a small measuring spoon, a plastic bag containing other bags, and a glass smoking pipe with residue, the report states.

Donoley wrote in his report he found a can of engine degreaser and noticed that the can “did not feel normal” and discovered the can to be a fake.

According to the affidavit, the officer unscrewed the bottom of the can and found a bag containing a large amount of a crystal-like substance that weighed approximately 31.39 grams.

Verrona agreed to speak with officers after being read his Miranda warning and said he had a problem with methamphetamine and was “just trying to sell enough to support his habit,” the affidavit states.

The crystal-like substance later field-tested positive for methamphetamine and packed to be sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further testing, the report states.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com