By Josh Newton, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.
June 29–Neighborhood patrolling by a Tahlequah police officer ended in the arrest of a man accused of having methamphetamine, a loaded handgun and other items early Friday morning.
Officer Cory Keele said he was on Downing Street when he noticed a truck stopped in the middle of the road near Ward and Ash around 1 a.m. He also realized a group of people were standing at the passenger-side of the truck, apparently speaking to someone inside the vehicle.
“As I turned west onto Ward to get behind the truck I heard someone from the group say, ‘Hurry man, it’s a cop,'” Keele reported in his arrest affidavit.
As Keele began to approach the truck, it drove away and headed onto Ash. It then pulled into a driveway and parked.
Keele said the driver — identified as Trae Cordell, 21 — got out of the truck and made his way toward the front of the vehicle.
“The driver kept looking at me and walking really slow to the front of the truck,” Keele said.
Cordell then ran from Keele until he crashed into a fence and fell down. Cordell was then taken into custody.
According to Keele, Cordell had money gripped in his hands, along with a lighter and a pack of cigarettes. He apologized for running, and told Keele he did so because he was scared.
When Keele approached the truck Cordell had been driving, he saw a handgun partially under the passenger-side back seat. The Ruger P34 had a bullet in the barrel, and eight other rounds in the magazine, Keele said.
In the bed of the truck, Keele found a backpack that contained a gun case, ammunition, gun oil, a firearm-cleaning kit, a hand-held torch, a holster, an assault-rifle magazine, and a smaller pack that had digital scales, meth, razor blades, seven SIM cards, a SIM card reader, a push-rod tool, and two glass pipes with burnt residue.
Cordell allegedly claimed he had borrowed the truck an hour earlier and had no idea about the items that officers found. He then told Keele he ran because he had an outstanding warrant.
Cordell was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center for driving under suspension, resisting arrest, obstruction, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony, and transporting a loaded firearm.
During the booking process, officers discovered that Cordell had multiple clear baggies in his pocket.
Cordell’s previous felony charges in Cherokee County include unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, seven counts of second-degree burglary, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
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