Pott. Co. Deputy Carries Out Fallen Tecumseh Police Officer’s Plans

Pott. Co. Deputy Carries Out Fallen Tecumseh Police Officer’s PlansPosted: Jul 31, 2017 9:29PM CDT

Christy Lewis, News 9

Shortly before 22-year-old Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney died in the line of duty, he had gotten a puppy named Onyx and they had big plans.
“He was on night shift and I was on night shift,” said Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputy Jared Strand.
Strand said Terney told him he wanted to be a K9 handler with Onyx.
“He talked about it a couple of times whenever we were just hanging out around dispatch or on a call,” Strand said.
So when Onyx lost his owner and needed a new place to go, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said he felt a great obligation to provide that.
“His real home is at Tecumseh, but we just have custody of him and taking care of him. But he’s for all law enforcement here in Pottawatomie County,” the sheriff said.
Strand is now Onyx’s handler. The dog is 8 months old.
“It’s a huge honor and that’s why I’m working so hard to make sure that everything works out,” he explained.
Strand runs drills with the dog and takes him to monthly training sessions in Shawnee, hoping to help Onyx achieve his life’s mission.
“I want Onyx to be the best K9 in the state, if not the nation,” he told News 9. “Because that’s what Justin was. He was a great officer and for him to carry that legacy on would be just great.”
Onyx is currently in testing to see which path he’ll take as a working dog. He could go out on patrol in as early as four to five months.
Booth thanked the Bricktown Brewery, 4-Way Automatic Transmission, Lexington police, Stratford police and Shawnee police for their help in making the K9 program possible.


Sheriff’s office gets new drug dog

A new deputy has joined the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office. And while he can’t carry a side pistol, he has his own weapons: sharp teeth and a keen sense of smell.  Judo, a German Shepherd police dog and his K-9 handler, Deputy Joe Leeds, are the newest additions to the sheriff’s office. The two have been partners for almost three years.  “If you see me, the dog’s not too far behind,” Leeds said, as Judo stood at his side with his favorite chew-toy, eager to go to work.

Judo, a certified drug dog and commissioned deputy, will alert on all types of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. In addition to tracking drugs, he’s a scent-tracking dog and can be used in manhunts. His presence tends to deter suspects from running because he can be unleashed to apprehend a suspect.  “He can run much faster than they can,” Leeds said.

The duo works rotations of regular shifts and are on-call whenever Judo’s services may be needed by deputies. Leeds is excited about joining Sheriff Mike Booth’s team.“I am happy to be here — the sheriff is definitely on the right track,” he said.  Leeds began his law enforcement career with the Department of Corrections before becoming a deputy at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to becoming a Pottawatomie County deputy about three weeks ago, he worked a short stint at the Wewoka Police Department.

Booth is pleased to have both of them on the department.  “I think they’re an extremely useful asset,” Booth said. “I’m glad we found Joe and Judo to help us out.”  Judo and Leeds have already helped take drugs off the streets of Pottawatomie County, the sheriff said.

Leeds said he’s thankful for his partner and their continued partnership. Because of the donation of a new dog to Seminole County authorities from the National Drug Dog Foundation, Leeds said he was able to bring his partner with him to work at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.

In his spare time, Leeds, who is originally from California, spends time with his family and enjoys participating in cage fighting.

Traffic stop drug bust nets thousands in cash

An overnight traffic stop for speeding and the instincts of a deputy resulted in the arrest of two people on drug-related complaints Thursday, along with the seizure of nearly $10,000 in cash.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said Deputy Chris Ayers stopped the driver of a 1997 Ford F-150 about 3 a.m. on Gordon Cooper Drive at U.S. 177.  During that stop, the driver’s actions were suspicious, Palmer said, so Deputy Ayers called for the nearest drug dog to conduct a sweep of that pickup. Shawnee Police Officer Steve Hudgins responded with his K-9,   The dog alerted twice on the pickup, Palmer said. The driver was searched and Tecumseh Police Officer Brandy Carnell responded to pat down the female passenger, he said.

Palmer said the female had a bulge on her person upon pat down, which led to her producing a package from her pants with a substance that field-tested positive for cocaine at the scene, Palmer said.

Deputies conducted other tests of items at the scene and found about 2.8 grams of cocaine and three grams of methamphetamine, the captain said, along with a small amount of marijuana. Authorities also found $1,600 in cash.

Arrested at the scene on complaints of possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute were the driver, Jerry L. Tubbs, 31, Shawnee, and Amanda M. Phillips, 20, Shawnee, Palmer said.

Both were taken to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.
During book-in, detention officers found Tubbs had another $8,000 rolled up and concealed in his genital area, Palmer said.

Authorities will attempt to seize those funds through forfeiture and also plan to seize the man’s pickup, Palmer said.
“Deputy Ayers did a good job of recognizing something was going on besides speeding,” he said.

The case reports will be tuned over to the  District Attorneys of office for consideration of any formal charges. Both suspects appeared before a judge Friday for a bond hearing and both remained jailed, each held on $20,000 bond.
Kim Morava may be reached at 214-3962.