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Two arrested after drugs and guns found during search

Robert "Bob" Ward Karen Avery

Friday, January 5, 2023 - On the morning of January 2, Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Deputies and Investigators, along with investigators from the Sallisaw Police Department, ATF and Cherokee Marshals Service, served a narcotics search warrant north of Vian at the residence of Robert “Bob” Ward.

During the search, officers recovered nearly two pounds of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, a large amount of marijuana, digital scales, packaging materials and other drug paraphernalia. Bags of an unknown brownish powder substance were also discovered and sent to the lab for identification.

In addition to the drugs and drug paraphernalia, more than 40 firearms, over $2000 in cash, and a digital surveillance system were found at the residence. Two of the firearms have been confirmed as having been stolen from Oklahoma City and Poteau. The other guns are still being processed.

Arrested from the residence were Robert “Bob” Ward, of Vian, and Karen Avery, of Sallisaw (pictured above).

Ward has been charged with Trafficking CDS-Meth, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of firearm in commission of a felony, knowingly concealing stolen property, use of surveillance system in commission of a felony, possession of drug proceeds, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Avery has been charged with Trafficking CDS-meth, felon in possession of firearm, possession of firearm in commission of felony, and AFCF.

Both are being held with no bond at this time.

"This is the conclusion of a very lengthy investigation into numerous property thefts and methamphetamine distribution in Sequoyah County. Bob Ward has been a thorn in our side for several years. We have busted him several times and he has always managed to get his cases dismissed," Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane stated. "It’s really frustrating to me and for my deputies and investigators, when they work so hard to get a known drug dealer and thief off the streets and he just laughs at them as he walks out of the courthouse. This time the ATF is preparing to adopt his case and prosecute him through the federal system. Hopefully, he will be convicted this time."

Lane added, “I have gotten several calls from his neighbors, thanking us for finally raiding him. They were tired of all the traffic coming in and out of his house, all times of the day and night. I explained to them that just because we know or suspect that someone is selling drugs, we still have to obtain probable cause to get a warrant. We can’t just go bust them because we know or suspect what they’re doing. Some cases take longer than others to develop solid probable cause. Investigator Galen Irvin wrote the search warrant and has a ton of paperwork to follow, but our entire investigation unit, as well as the patrol deputies, have worked a long time on this target. I’m proud they have all worked together so well to get this guy."

KXMX Staff Writer

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