Tag: Choctaw County

Case Dismissed

TRAFFICKING IN ILLEGAL DRUGS and POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

Criminal Charge: Trafficking in Illegal Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Case: State of Oklahoma v. Russell Kash Weil
Court: [Choctaw County][CF-13-69]
Result: Both Counts Dismissed

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details, read the Case Information.

Summary:

Choctaw County [OK] law enforcement presented the District Judge with an affidavit for a search warrant of Mr. Weil’s home.  The affidavit alleged an identified juvenile was arrested for pot possession, and when he went to jail he told the jailer he had seen all kinds of drugs in Mr. Weil’s home.  He did not say when.  Judge Wolf issued the search warrant.

Cops searched his home, claimed they recovered a large amount of illegal drugs and charged Mr. Weil with distribution of drugs and simple possession of drugs.

Mr. Weil hired a lawyer from Durant, OK who talked him into waiving his preliminary hearing, waiving his right to a jury trial and pleading guilty in exchange for a five-year sentence.  However, before he pled guilty, Mr. Weil fired that attorney and hired Mr. Haslam.  Haslam immediately moved to recover his rights to the hearing and a jury trial and rejected the plea deal.

After reviewing the police reports and the warrant paperwork, Haslam filed a motion to suppress the search warrant and the fruits of the search.  In retaliation, the prosecutor increased the charge to trafficking of illegal drugs, a charge that carries up to life in prison.  At the evidentiary hearing on the motion to suppress, the State offered the testimony of the cop who authored the warrant affidavit.  Citing the law that requires an affidavit for a search warrant to include the time a witness allegedly saw contraband at premises before the warrant may lawfully issue, Haslam argued the warrant was illegal and all the fruits of the search had to be excluded from evidence.  Judge Brock agreed and the Court DISMISSED THE CASE.

Case Dismissed

DISTRIBUTION OF CDS AND MAINTAINING A DRUG HOUSE

Criminal Charge: DISTRIBUTION OF CDS [4 Counts] and MAINTAINING A DRUG HOUSE [1 Count]
Case: State v. Chad Wortham [CF-11-280]
Court: Choctaw County
Result: All counts dismissed expect one, straight probation on the surviving count

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details on this case, open the Docket View.

Summary:

Mr. Wortham was charged with four counts of drug distribution, one count of simple possession and one count of maintaining a dwelling where drugs are sold after a lengthy “investigation” by the DEA, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics [“OBN”] and local law enforcement. Headed by the McAlester, OK office of the DEA, the investigation employed several felons to conduct undercover drug buys from a number of SE OK citizens. The deals employed video cameras and audio equipment hidden on the felons as they conducted the alleged deals.

At the probable cause hearing, Haslam cross examined the snitches aggressively and learned they both were using their snitch payments to buy and consume illegal drugs while they were ostensibly conducting these undercover buys – a direct violation of the written contract they entered with law enforcement. After establishing the felon/snitches were liars, Haslam elicited from the law enforcement agents conducting the investigation that they did not thoroughly search the snitches before they sailed off on their undercover efforts. And last, he exposed that the audio/video evidence they claimed was generated in these alleged deals of Mr. Wortham never showed his face, or actually recorded a deal. At the end of the day, then, the State was left with the credibility of convicted felons who admitted lying about their drug use to the DEA to make the case that Mr. Wortham was selling to them.

The prosecutor completely dismissed all the cases against Mr. Wortham – each carried up to life in prison – except one. He pled guilty to one count of simple possession, 7 years probation and 30 days in the county jail. In addition, Mr. Wortham had been on probation in Red River County [Clarksville, TX] when he was arrested on these charges. Although Red River County moved to revoke his probation and send him to the Texas penitentiary for 5 years…Haslam succeeded in gaining the dismissal of this effort, as well.

Case Dismissed

POSSESSION OF CDS

Criminal Charge: Possession of CDS
Case: State v. Lonny Karr
Court: [CF-08-158, Choctaw County]
Result: Case Dismissed

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details on this case, open the Docket View.

Summary:

Mr. Karr was a passenger in a car pulled over by Drug Task Force agents for allegedly running a stop sign.

At the preliminary hearing, one agent testified he called a drug dog to the scene when the driver refused to consent to a search of his vehicle. [In Oklahoma, it is legal to search a car with a dog even though it may not be legal for the cops on the scene to search the car themselves without a warrant]. The dog handler testified the dog “alerted” on the car so they proceeded to search themselves and alleged they recovered drugs from the console and trunk.

The prosecutor offered Mr. Karr a plea bargain: 10 years in prison.

Haslam argued that there was insufficient probable cause to believe Mr. Karr had “dominion and control” over the drugs to continue the case, and that his “mere proximity” to the drugs in car is simply not enough, as a matter of black-letter law, to convict someone of possession.

Judge Wolfe agreed and dismissed the case completely. Mr. Karr was released from jail after the hearing.