deputies

Deputies ‘ham it up’ for a good cause


SHAWNEE, Okla. – Field deputy David Warta is patrolling the streets of Pottawatomie County to serve and protect.

And, on this day – it’s a different kind of “serve.”
County deputies are pulling over good drivers and blessing them with a holiday ham.
“A lot people are struggling with bills and don’t have the blessings that we have. And, we are fortunate to do this,” said Lt. Jimmy Brewer.
Eighty hams were donated and are being distributed to motorists, like Martha Marler.
“That was on my grocery list. Thank you for your service,” she said.
The flashing red lights in the rear view mirror can cause anxiety.
But, it quickly turns to joy and gratitude.
We were there as Warta surprised some motorists.
“You looked like you could use a ham.”

“I could use a ham.”
“Merry Christmas from the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office”
“Thank you very much.”
Deputies are also distributing gloves and hats to help the homeless survive the bitter winter.

See video from Channel 4

Welcomed Gifts: Boy Scouts Troop 3461


Boy Scouts Troop 3461 put together snacks and hand warmers for each deputy at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Steven Sample, Sgt. Scott Hawkins and Lt. Bob Stewart met with troop members Wednesday evening 12/13/2016 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Shawnee to receive the greatly appreciated gifts.

Each troop member decorated their sacks with messages about Christmas to words of gratitude for the job law enforcement do for citizens.

Wanette man jailed in shooting incident

A Wanette man was jailed Monday on a shooting with intent to kill complaint after his friend suffered a gunshot wound to the head during an alleged argument.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said deputies responded about 1:30 p.m. to a home on Trousdale Road, about one mile west of SH 102 in the Wanette area.

The shooting victim, Randall Roberson, 53, had called 911 for help, Palmer said, and told dispatchers the suspect, Jerry Miller, 62, was still inside the home.

After calling to report his injury, Roberson flagged down a propane truck driven by the Wanette firefighter, who drove him to the end of the road to await an ambulance, Palmer said.

Deputies responded to the scene. Roberson, who suffered an injury along the top of his head, Palmer said, was taken by REACT EMS to Unity Health Center for treatment. Medi Flight was originally called, but wasn’t needed, Palmer said.

Roberson told deputies he was at Miller’s home when the two of them, who are friends, got into an argument. Roberson told authorities he was watching TV when Miller left the room and returned. He allegedly “pointed a gun and pulled the trigger,” Palmer said.

Roberson told deputies Miller was still inside the home with weapons. Deputies, along with the District Attorney’s Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and tribal officers, set up a perimeter around the home and tried to negotiate with Miller, Palmer said, but Miller wouldn’t answer the phone or bullhorn calls from outside.

After about 30 minutes, Palmer said law enforcement officers breached a door to make entry, where Miller, who was reportedly asleep, raised up from the sofa and complied with commands. Palmer said Miller told deputies he didn’t know about anyone getting shot.

Deputies said they found a .22 caliber rille inside the home and arrested Miller on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill. He was booked into he Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center. Formal charges have not been filed.

While the incident remains under investigation, Palmer said it appears both men were drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

Deputies: ‘Don’t be suckered’ by lottery check scam

Once again, fake lottery letters with cashier’s checks have arrived in Shawnee mailboxes, prompting law enforcement officers to issue warnings to area residents. The most recent mailing comes from an address in London, England, with a claim that the person is the winner of the Australia Sweepstakes lottery. The Shawnee resident who received this mailing, along with what appears to be a real cashier’s check, became suspicious and turned over the items to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Mike Booth said the letter and $4,995 check, are a scam and residents need to be aware of such cons to avoid becoming victims.
“If it looks too good to be true, it is,” Booth said. It’s a scam, no matter how good it looks.” The letterhead shows Featureview Trust Inc., and includes the Shawnee man’s name and his address where it was mailed, and claims to be from the International Claims Department in London, England. The letter claims the resident has won $250,000 through a random computer ballot system drawn from shopper names.
The letter shows the check for $4,995 is to help pay government taxes and insurance on the winnings and claims to be a payment from a claims agent.

It asks the winner not to use the check until they call a 15-digit phone number, where police said those answering work to get personal information from the caller. The fake check, with the somewhat blurry logo of well-known U.S. bank, claims to be drafted from an account in Phoenix, Ariz. “No matter how real it looks, it’s not going to get you anything,” Booth said about that check, advising residents not to cash it or give any personal information to anyone. “From that point on, you have everything to lose,” the sheriff added. Booth said residents should be suspicious if they get anything by mail such as this, especially if they have no direct knowledge of it. “Anyone with questions can bring it to their local law enforcement office,” Booth said, adding, “Don’t be suckered.”

Shawnee police issued a similar warning back in December for mailings that included similar letters for a shoppers lottery scam.
“Don’t cash the check … do not call and give them any information,” Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said. Frantz said the scam works to get someone’s bank account number, either by phone or when cashing the fake check. That enables the suspects to clean out someone’s bank account before they realize the check to pay the “fees” is a fake and has bounced. “Citizens beware,” Frantz said.

Suspect still sought following police pursuit

Law enforcement officers in both Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties are still on the lookout for a person wanted for questioning in connection with two pursuits relating to stolen vehicles and trailers Monday night. Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty reported the pursuit began in Pottawatomie County as deputies tried to stop a pickup towing a stolen box trailer. Dougherty has identified the driver they are still looking for as David Carter of Meeker. A passenger in the vehicle, identified by deputies at Eric L. Grimm, 24, stayed inside the vehicle and was taken into custody by Pottawatomie County deputies, Dougherty said. He said the stolen vehicle was recovered, while a manhunt commenced for Carter.
The pursuit entered Lincoln County on 3440 Road and continued north, he said. About one mile south of SH 62, officers set up road blocks, but the vehicle continued. A bit farther north, Dougherty said Meeker Police Officer Matt Willis was okay after the pickup clipped that officer’s leg while he attempted to deploy more stop sticks. Before that, the driver allegedly swerved his vehicle toward a Pottawatomie County sheriff’s unit occupied by a deputy. The pursuit came to an end more than a mile later where the roadway ends, with Carter reportedly fleeing the vehicle on foot, Dougherty said. Formal charges have not been filed against either. Grimm is now jailed on a complaint of knowingly concealing stolen property. Two tracking dogs were used to search for Carter at the end of pursuit before Midnight. About 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, a Ford pickup with attached flat-bed trailer was reported stolen in the general area, Dougherty said. Pottawatomie County deputies located it and began a pursuit of that stolen vehicle within 15 minutes of the report, but lost sighting, Dougherty said. That stolen vehicle was recovered in the Earlsboro area Tuesday, with case reports pointing to Carter also being connected to that vehicle as well, Dougherty said. Anyone with information about Carter should contact authorities.

Prague man bound over in wife’s shooting; two charges added

A Prague man charged in the September shooting of his estranged wife appeared in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, where he was bound over for trial on the one count filed, with the judge suggesting two additional counts based on the evidence presented.  Phillip Mlynek, 59, was originally charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, a felony, after his wife, Shirley Mlynek, suffered injuries to both legs from a No. 4 buckshot.  At the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing, held for a judge to determine if there’s enough evidence for a case to proceed, Special District Judge David Cawthon bound Mylnek over on the assault count. Because of evidence presented, the judge suggested charges be amended to also include counts of feloniously pointing a firearm and maiming, court documents show.

According to court records, the Mlyneks were married in 1975 and were going through a divorce at the time of the alleged shooting incident, with court records showing Shirley Mylnek filed for divorce in August.  Sheriff’s deputies who investigated this case said she was staying at her son’s home, located in the panhandle of rural Pottawatomie County, which is where the alleged shooting occurred.

Reports in the case show Shirley Mylnek told deputies her husband confronted her with a shotgun when she arrived home and asked her to sign some paperwork that would entitle him to land they own.  Phillip Mylnek was taken into police custody after taking his wife to the Prague hospital for treatment of her wounds, documents show.  First Assistant District Attorney Russ Cochran represented the state; Mylnek was represented by Attorney Cregg Webb.  Mylnek’s $55,000 bond remains in effect and he is to have no contact with Shirley Mylnek; his arraignment date to enter a plea is now scheduled February 2nd 2011.

New developments in Saint Louis shooting

An investigation into a fatal shooting in Saint Louis Saturday evening is continuing as detectives conduct interviews and await firearm testing to prepare the case for review by the district attorney, who may have to determine if the case falls under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Timmy Jordan, 46, died as a result of the shooting. Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Carnell said the shooting occurred in the Saint Louis area at 32290 Brangus Road, which is the residence of Ricky Wallgren Jr.
The investigation is still ongoing. Preliminary reports from the probe now indicate Wallgren was out in his yard when he saw a 4-wheeler occupied by Jordan and his 11-year-old son pull up to the gate of his residence, which had a large stop sign and a “no trespassing” sign, Carnell said.
Jordan and his son allegedly climbed the gate onto Wallgren’s property and walked about 155 feet up the driveway, Carnell said, with Jordan carrying a bag with a visible green leafy plant believed to be marijuana.
When Jordan confronted Wallgren, Carnell said Wallgren told Jordan to leave the property. Wallgren’s children were at home, but were told to go inside the house, he said.
During the confrontation, Carnell said it appears Jordan reached into the bag he was carrying and pulled out a .380 caliber pistol. A short scuffle over the gun ensued, resulting in Wallgren getting the weapon away from Jordan, the detective said.
When Jordan allegedly went after Wallgren, Carnell said the homeowner reportedly fired the pistol twice, hitting Jordan in the head. Jordan died at the scene.
Authorities are conducting interviews and following all leads in probing this case. Carnell said while the men were acquainted, the incident may have had something to do with a previous assault involving Jordan and a member of Wallgren’s family.
Sheriff’s investigators have sent the pistol to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for trace-testing and for fingerprint tests on the gun, the magazine and the bullets, Carnell said.
Because a homicide involves the death of a person at the hands of another, this case is being investigated as a homicide, officers said.
Wallgren has not been arrested in connection with the shooting, Carnell said, because this case could possibly fall under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. That laws specifies that people can use deadly force if they believe they are in danger in any place where they have a legal right to be. That same law also prevents authorities from arresting persons in these types of circumstances, Carnell said, so Wallgren was questioned about the incident, then released.
It will be up to the district attorney’s office to determine whether this shooting falls under the “Stand Your Ground” law, and whether any charges will be filed.
Sheriff Mike Booth said they are being proactive and following all evidence in this investigation.
“We’ll collect as much evidence as we can and submit it to the district attorney’s office,” Booth said.
Jordan was a lifelong Saint Louis resident. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in Konawa. Watch for further updates as they become available.

Charges filed in large meth bust

Two suspects arrested after Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies seized about 577 grams of methamphetamine from their vehicle have been formally charged.

Robert Lester Keitz, 26, Checotah, and Danette Lola McNeal, 44, Stigler, are charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with the felony of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs. They are accused of acting conjointly and knowingly possessing more than one pound of methamphetamine on Aug. 19. They also are charged with the misdemeanor of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, accused of having electronic scales, baggies and a glass smoking device.
Both were arrested after they apparently got their pickup stuck along Old Highway 270 near Dale.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said in addition to the 577 grams of finished powder, deputies also confiscated about 1.5 pounds of cut product, which would have been about 3.5 pounds of street methamphetamine when finished.
Deputies Mark Burden and Eric Fletcher worked the scene and arrived after a passerby had stopped to help the motorists pull their pickup back onto the road.
Deputies questioned the two traveling in the pickup and let the passerby leave. The male at the scene had no identification and gave deputies several different spellings of his reported name. Once deputies determined his actual name, they discovered he had an outstanding drug arrest warrant in McIntosh County, then the drugs and paraphernalia were found.
Both were booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on $50,000 bond.
Thursday, Keitz remained jailed, but McNeal had been released after posting a $50,000 bond.
If convicted of the felony charge, aggravated trafficking is punishable by imprisonment of four years to life and a fine of $50,000 to $500,000. Keitz, who has a former felony conviction, could face eight years to life in prison, if convicted.
The next court date for the defendants hasn’t yet been scheduled.

Heat could be blamed for man’s death

A heat stroke could be to blame for the death of a Shawnee resident over the weekend. Capt. Travis Palmer of the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office said Wesley Todd Gwaltney, 46, died early Sunday morning at his home on SH 3.
Gwaltney had been outside doing yard work from about noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and then left for a short time to do some work elsewhere, Palmer said. He returned home and was reportedly “staggering toward the door,” he said. Palmer said Gwaltney was sweating and appeared red, according to his elderly aunt who lives nearby. She helped him get into the house after he collapsed in the yard, then treated him with damp cloths for heat issues, Palmer said. She reported that she couldn’t get Gwaltney to drink any fluids, the captain said. About 2 a.m. Sunday, Palmer said the aunt went to check on him and he had died. While it appeared Gwaltney died from a heat stroke or heat-related illness, Palmer said his official cause of death is still pending with the state Medical Examiner’s office. “We’re awaiting results of the autopsy to ensure cause of death,” Palmer said. Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the state Medical Examiner’s office, said Gwaltney’s cause of death had not yet been determined by late Monday; she said it could take a few days. Another Shawnee man died near Holdenville over the weekend, but it was unknown if heat might have played a factor in his death. Ballard said an official cause of death for Tim O’Dell, 28, is pending further test results with the state Medical Examiner’s office. As summer temperatures have been dangerously high during the past few days, crews from REACT Emergency Medical Service have received many calls for heat-related illnesses.
REACT EMS Clinical Operations Manager Robert Knight said Monday that paramedics responded to several calls for heat-related exhaustion over the weekend as many became hot and sick with the excessive temperatures. Knight urged everyone to take precautions in this summer heat. “Drink plenty of fluids and monitor your time out in the sun,” he said, adding many heat illnesses could be minor but can become more severe than a person realizes. There are three types of heat-related illnesses — heat cramps, heat exhaustion and the most serious, heat stroke, he said. A patient with heat cramps will typically have muscular pain and need to drink fluids, he said. When heat exhaustion occurs, it becomes more serious because the body has become dehydrated. A patient with heat exhaustion will likely have a headache, nausea, dizziness and vertigo and may have an “achy feeling,” Knight said. A patient with heat exhaustion usually has cool skin that is pale and moist because they are able to sweat, but they should seek medical treatment, Knight said. The most serious of the three conditions is a heat stroke, which can “sneak up” on a person and become deadly, Knight said. “The body’s cooling mechanism fails and the body temperature goes up so fast that it may damage the brain — and death can occur,” Knight said. A person suffering a heat stroke usually has dry skin because they’re unable to sweat; they become lethargic and need to immediately be cooled off, he said. Anyone suffering from a heat stroke will need an ambulance right away, Knight said. While the heat and lack of proper fluids can cause any of these heat illnesses, Knight said alcohol use increases dehydration, along with excessive exercise. Medical conditions, such as heart disease or those who take medications like diuretics for high blood pressure, are often more susceptible to heat illnesses, he said.
If anyone has trouble with consciousness or taking fluids, they should call 911 or get to their local emergency room, Knight said. Other signs of heat stress can include dizziness, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, throbbing headache, chest pain, weakness, mental changes, breathing problems, or vomiting.

Deputies arrest five burglary suspects

Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies arrested five suspects Thursday shortly after a residential burglary.  Sheriff Mike Booth said Deputy Chad Pope made a traffic stop of an alleged suspect vehicle, which led to recovery of stolen property and the arrests.  Pope said a rural residential break-in had been reported and the suspect vehicle, a white Dodge pickup, left the area. As Deputy Ken VanDuser worked the initial burglary scene, Pope, also responding, noticed the possible suspect vehicle and followed it from the area of U.S. 177 and Hardesty Road into Shawnee.  With information matching the suspect vehicle, including partial tag numbers, Pope said he made a traffic stop at Kickapoo and Ridgewood streets.  The truck, which turned out to be stolen, had items in the bed of the pickup that matched those taken from the burglary, Pope said, including a computer.  Five persons in the truck — two males and three females —were arrested at the scene, Pope said.  As he continued to work the case Thursday evening, the suspects were being booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on complaints of burglary and possession of stolen property.  Watch for further updates.