|Updated: 9/05/2013 7:50 pm
||Published: 9/05/2013 7:48 pm
FOX23 was the only news station there as local law enforcement set out to fight the meth epidemic.
Four agencies in Cherokee County: the Sheriff’s Office, The Tahlequah Police Department, District 27 District Attorney's Drugs and Violent Crimes Task Force and Cherokee Nation marshals teamed up to catch people buying more pseudoephedrine than the state law allows. Authorities believe they used the cold medicine to make meth, use meth and make money.
Authorities were out of uniform and in unmarked cars hitting the streets Thursday to catch the violators.
"The drug addiction, methamphetamine, is probably the greatest driving force behind our crime rate," said Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King. He told FOX23's Dontaye Carter this is a problem they have shifted their focus towards.
King says the first man arrested, Jimmy Lee, was buying products used to make meth and also had 10 warrants out including one felony warrant for second burglary and knowing and concealing stolen property.
"Not only does it protect Tahlequah, it protects Cherokee County, Muskogee County, Adair County," said King. "When people are breaking the law they just don't stay in their neighborhood."
FOX23 cameras captured a Tahlequah police K-9 as it picked up on drugs minutes after authorities pulled over a silver Chevrolet Tahoe. Police found nearly $250 worth of marijuana inside. The truck was pulled over after undercover agents saw the people inside buying items in Walmartused to make meth such as Claritin, batteries and a light bulb.
"What were you buying that stuff for?" asked Carter.
Adam Seagle didn't respond but police said all three people in the car had bought more than 30 boxes of pseudoephedrine this year already. State law only allows you to buy nine grams of it in a 30-day period.
"He was begging me for three days to take him grocery shopping and he ended up buying those pills," said Max Strow, who was arrested. The trio was riding in his truck.
"Did you know what he was buying it for?" asked Carter.
"What was it for?" asked Carter.
"It's in my report," Strow responded.
Police said in that report Strow said Seagle made meth but the other person in the car, Janet Moore, who police believe is Seagle's girlfriend, told FOX23 it wasn't true.
"I'm going to jail for giving someone a ride. That's awesome," she said.
"Do you know what they were coming to buy?" asked Carter.
"I had no clue; they just woke me up," Moore said.
"Have you seen him doing drugs or anything of that nature?" asked Carter.
"Nope," she said.
Investigators were able to write a search warrant for Seagle's home off the evidence they found at the scene. They told FOX23 they found a meth lab and a stolen gun inside the home.
The three all face charges of possession of marijuana. Seagle faces endeavoring to manufacture controlled dangerous substance and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Jones was booked on his warrants.