One traffic stop led to fentanyl and meth trafficking charges against a Lawton woman.
Soon after, a man seen leaving her house led law enforcement on a high-speed chase before he, too, landed in jail on trafficking charges.
When Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Tyler Hedges made a traffic stop April 6 for an unsafe lane change he learned the driver, Veyanita Jeanette Garces, didn’t have a valid driver’s license, the probable cause affidavit states. A Comanche County Sheriff’s K-9 officer was called and conducted an open air sniff for drugs when Garces admitted she had “Roxys” in the car; Roxy M30 is a counterfeit form of oxycodone containing the more powerful fentanyl synthetic opioid.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) Agent Josh Stone stated Garces told the trooper she was told to deliver them to Oklahoma City. She said she’d just left her home at 1215 SW D. Inside her backpack, Garces had around 1,000 fentanyl pills as well as four baggies containing 119 grams of methamphetamine, the affidavit states.
Garces told investigators she’d been delivering fentanyl pills to Oklahoma City since November or December and that she would deliver 1,000 of the pills at a time, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement got a search warrant for Garces’ home and found baggies containing about six grams of the fentanyl pills, Stone stated.
While assisting the OBN with the search warrant, Hedges was notified of a vehicle leaving Garces’ home. The driver was seen carrying out several containers of suspected drugs, the affidavit states. The trooper followed the vehicle and saw its right blinker turn on before quickly turning it off and accelerating through the light at Southwest 11th Street and D Avenue as well as a stop sign a block later, Hedges stated.
The vehicle continued eastbound on Southwest F Avenue at 80 mph and ran two lights before turning northbound on South Railroad Street where it ran the red light at Gore Boulevard, the affidavit states. After turning northbound on Northwest 2nd, the vehicle continued onto Interstate 44 before taking the eastbound Rogers Lane exit. Hedges stated he, however, then did a U-turn and went westbound before winding through some residential neighborhoods ending at Woodridge Drive.
The driver, Ty Dontrell Howard, took off on foot and hopped a fence to hide behind a house before being taken into custody by the trooper. OBN agents found 8.68 pounds of marijuana in the trunk along with a safe containing 6,306 fentanyl pills and 338.5 grams of methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. A baggie containing 22.5 grams of ecstasy/MDMA powder was also found in a bag in the car’s backseat, Hedges stated.
Garces and Howard each made court appearances.
Howard, 26, of Lawton, made his initial appearance in Comanche County District Court where he received felony charges of aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in methamphetamine, endangering others while eluding/attempting to elude police, child endangerment by permitting the presence of drug manufacturing and maintaining a place for keeping/selling drugs, as well as a misdemeanor count of failure to stop at a red light, records indicate.
Garces, 32, of Lawton, was charged with felony counts of two separate charges for aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in meth, and misdemeanor charges for driving with an invalid license and unsafe lane use.
Howard is being held on $250,000 bond and Garces is held on $100,000 bond; each must wear a GPS ankle monitor if released, records indicate.
Howard returns to court at 3 p.m. July 10 for his preliminary hearing conference and Garces returns at 3 p.m. July 18 for her hearing conference.