DUI Arrest Leads Cops to Big Drug Bust
By: Mike Stetzer
For police, it isn’t often that crime comes to them. In one recent case, however, a group of criminals did just that when they found themselves purchasing products to produce drugs in the midst of a DUI arrest.
In the town of Pryor, Oklahoma, police were investigating a man for driving under the influence with his son in the car. What happened next would end up as a case of being in the right place at the right time, as it put the officers in the midst of an even bigger potential bust.
Police initially received a call about a man driving erratically, who was suspected of operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The report led them to the parking lot of a Tractor Supply store.
When police arrived on the scene in the parking lot, the DUI suspect, Mark Frederick McAfee, had already run his vehicle into a log splitter that was on display outside of the store. “He had his ten-year-old boy with him,” said investigator Doug Barham. Reports described McAfee as very impaired.
“The boy was trying to get the car stopped,” said Barham, “but he was unable to do so before it struck the equipment.”
The boy came away from the accident unharmed, and McAfee was taken into custody for driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs, the Daily Times reported. He was jailed and given a $1,500 bond, and has since been released.
It was at this point that the situation took a turn. While they were at the scene of the original incident, police observed three men coming out of the Tractor Supply store.
“As I was standing there in the parking lot, I saw three male subjects leaving the store,” Barham told the Daily Times. At that point, an employee from the store approached the police officers and informed them that the three men had attempted to purchase containers of Drano. Drano, the drain de-clogging product, can be associated with production of the narcotic methamphetamine.
Police approached the men, separated them and began to question them about their intentions. “We found out that they had ended up stealing the Drano and leaving the empty container on the shelf,” Barham said. “They had poured the Drano in a sack. One of the subjects had the bag of stolen drain cleaner in his pocket.”
Police brought drug-sniffing dogs to the scene, to search the subjects’ vehicle, where a fourth person had been waiting for them in the parking lot.
“Officer Mitchell ran the dog around the vehicle and he alerted to the presence of narcotics,” Barham said. The subsequent search revealed meth and marijuana paraphernalia. There were a number of products that when they were combined signaled the possible manufacture of meth, including pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries and muratic acid.
Two of the men were arrested and charged with possession of precursor substance with intent to manufacture, according to the Daily Times. Two more were arrested and charged with possession of material with intent to manufacture.