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Traffic stop leads to false impersonation and drug charges

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Wednesday, December 28, 2022 - A Sallisaw woman was arrested Dec. 11 and charged with falsely impersonating another to create liability, a felony.

Judie Dakota Sioux Rowell, 22, could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if she is convicted.

She was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.

On Dec. 11 at 1:44 a.m., two Sallisaw police officers were patrolling westbound on Delaware Street near Dogwood Avenue when they observed a black sedan traveling west onto Delaware from Dogwood and continuing westbound on Delaware, directly in front of the officers.

The vehicle came to a nearly complete stop in the road near the intersection of Delaware and Mulberry Street, even though there is no stop sign at that intersection.

As the officers approached the sedan, dispatch alerted them that the vehicle had been flagged for having no insurance.

The vehicle turned left onto Opdyke Street and continued southbound before turning right onto Iola Street. When the vehicle turned west onto Iola, it crossed the center line and then came back into the westbound lane. At that point, the driver of the police cruiser initiated his emergency lights and the vehicle came to a stop.

The officer exited his patrol car and made contact with the driver. After explaining the reason for the stop, the driver identified herself as Jennifer Coppin. She handed the officer her driver’s license, but she did not have insurance verification. There was a female in the passenger’s seat who provided the officer with a name but stated that she didn’t have identification. The officer returned to his patrol unit and ran the identity provided through dispatch.

While waiting for a response to the question, another officer ran the passenger through a Geospace query program. The officer was able to show a driver’s license photo matching the identity given and he asked the other officer if that was the woman in the passenger seat.

The officer told his colleague that the photo did not match the person in the passenger seat.

When dispatch came back with the requested information, an officer returned to the vehicle’s driver’s-side window and asked Coppin to step out and he issued her a citation for not having insurance on the vehicle and asked her for information about her female passenger.

Coppin stated that the passenger was Judie Rowell. She said Rowell had a warrant and that is why she gave the false name.

Rowell was removed from the vehicle and the officer asked her if she was actually Judie Rowell and she admitted that was her name.

When asked why she gave the false name, she said she had a warrant and did not want to go to jail. At that point, Rowell was handcuffed behind her back and the officer asked her if she had anything illegal on her. Rowell admitted she had a loaded rig of meth inside her.

Coppin gave permission to search her vehicle. During the search, Rowell’s backpack was found to contain a piece of burned foil and one cut straw that was burned at one end. The officer seized the suspected drug paraphernalia and placed it inside his patrol car.

The officer transported Rowell to the Sallisaw Police Department and informed the female jailer of what Rowell possible had inside her.

The jailer later said she had retrieved a needle syringe from Rowell’s person, and she gave it to the arresting officer. The syringe appeared to be loaded with a clear, liquid substance.

Laura Brown, Staff Writer

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