CALERA - With all the promise of a new year comes the harsh reality of rural Oklahoma’s old problems: A slice of the drug culture which permeates the underbelly of American vice.
Like many communities across the land, Calera has a drug problem. Much of that drug problem is simply passing through on Highway 69/75. Occasionally, police in towns like Colbert, Calera, Durant and Caddo ensnare suspected addicts as they drive through.
A sampling of police reports provided by Calera Police Department since the start of 2014 shows the depth of addiction to one of the most dangerous drugs of our time: crystal meth.
Three out of five of the reports provided to the Durant Daily Democrat by Calera police end in meth possession arrests. A fourth resulted in a prescription drug possession arrest.
This was the outcome for just a handful of traffic stops made by Calera police in the first 10 days of the year. But these incidents indicate that the image of our tranquil community is cloaked by a significant and likely growing segment of our local community who frequently and often openly transport and smoke the white powdery substance from homemade pipes.
In the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 4, a Calera patrolman stopped a car with expired tags. A search revealed crystal meth inside the car, as well as a passenger with a warrant for failing to appear in Bryan County Court on a previous charge of meth possession.
Paul Anthony Lopez was arrested on the warrant. The driver, Alexandria Autumn Blackwell, was arrested on suspicion of possession of meth, drug paraphernalia and issued a citation for the expired tags.
On last Thursday evening, Calera Assistant Police Chief T.J. White observed a swerving car and made a traffic stop. The driver tried to blame the fog for her swerving, and the cold night air made it difficult for White to initiate a sobriety test on the driver.
But the driver agreed to a breath test and White’s device indicated the driver was under the influence of alcohol. A search of the vehicle revealed the tell-tale “short straw with a baggie rolled up inside that contained a white powder residue.”
Mercedes Najafi, from Texas, was booked into Bryan County Jail for possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and transporting an open container of beer.
The next day, Calera police were informed of a custody dispute which potentially involved narcotics, weapons and nine-year-old twins. Police immediately went to the home in question and witnessed a vehicle matching the reported description in the vicinity.
A woman got out of the car and initially refused to let police near the car, which had the two children inside. The woman was arrested and police found a loaded pistol in the floorboard as well as numerous drug-related items.
Nicole Rackley was booked into jail for transporting a loaded firearm, possession of marijuana and meth, and speeding.
More importantly, Child Protective Services were contacted and the children were released to their grandfather. They were reunited with their father later in the evening.