An Asher man is jailed on child endangerment and drug-related complaints after allegedly fleeing from sheriff's deputies who escorted a child welfare worker on a home visit after his 5-month-old baby was hospitalized for a methamphetamine overdose, deputies said.
As a result of the arrest, Pottawatomie County Undersheriff Travis Palmer said deputies seized about 135 grams of methamphetamine and jailed a "major dealer" in the meth business, with more arrests possible.
David Brett Woods, 47, remained jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Wednesday on a $100,000 bond, Palmer said. Formal charges have not been filed.
The local probe first unfolded when the baby's mother took the infant to an Ada hospital. The baby was transported to Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the child was diagnosed as having a methamphetamine overdose, Palmer said.
DHS workers contacted sheriff's deputies to go with them on a home visit at Woods' rural residence on Lester Street, southeast of Asher, where the baby had been earlier in the day.
Because the residence was far off the roadway and it was about 10:36 p.m., Deputy Eric Fletcher proceeded up the driveway first with lights activated on his patrol car so anyone there would know they weren't intruders, an affidavit shows, with Deputy David Warta, Asher Police Officer Todd Kales and a DHS official staying at the end of the driveway.
According to the arrest affidavit in this case, Deputy Fletcher noticed a man jump into a black Chevrolet pickup that began accelerating up to about 40 mph down the driveway. The pickup missed a collision with his patrol car by 8 feet before turning away from Warta's patrol unit and striking a fence instead, the document shows.
The man reportedly ran into a wooded area of the property, where deputies did deploy a single non-lethal taser to subdue the man and take him into custody, the undersheriff said.
As he was detained, deputies determined the truck Woods was driving was a stolen vehicle.
Inside that truck, deputies found an ammunition can with about 135 grams of a crystal-like substance field tested to be methamphetamine, Palmer said, along with about $3,105 in cash.
"There was evidence of meth," and items associated with the sale of narcotics, such as scales and other items, Palmer said.
Deputies Mark Kosemund and Anthony Lee responded to assist as a search warrant also was executed in the mobile home at the property, Palmer said.
The undesheriff said they searched what appeared to be a child's room at the residence, where deputies found a can with a white residue inside that tested positive for methamphetamine.
Palmer said they don't know if the baby was possibly given meth at the home or if she could have touched the powdery substance and then ingested some by putting her hands into her mouth as babies can often do.
Page 2 of 2 - Palmer, who said they aren't releasing the baby's name, said the infant was treated for meth overdose symptoms at Children's Hospital and then released into DHS protective custody.
While the father was arrested on numerous complaints after allegedly fleeing before the home visit, Palmer said the baby's mother also is reportedly under investigation as part of this case. Her name isn't being released, Palmer added.
Other persons also connected to Woods are part of the ongoing probe, Palmer confirmed, adding intelligence information being gathered from others could lead to future drug-related arrests.
"We believe Mr. Woods was a major player in the meth business in the southern part of Pottawatomie County, Seminole County, Pontotoc County and McClain County," Palmer said, adding they seized several guns from the residence of the convicted felon and also found surveillance cameras outside the home.
Since 20 grams of methamphetamine in considered trafficking, Kosemund said Woods had about seven times that amount with the 135 grams, which had a street value of about $11,000.
Woods, who was questioned by investigators with the Drugs and Violent Crimes Task Force, remained jailed Wednesday on complaints including child endangerment, four counts of possession of a firearm while committing a felony, four counts of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, attempting to elude, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, jail records show.
According to court records, Woods has prior felony convictions in Pontotoc County.
Palmer praised the efforts of the law enforcement officers working this case and said they feel fortunate this case didn't involve a death.
"It wouldn't take much meth to kill a 5-month-old," Palmer said.
Watch for updates.