Police Arrest 5 After Reportedly Finding 2 Meth Labs In Cleveland
TULSA, Oklahoma - Five people were arrested in Cleveland after two methamphetamine labs were found at a residence on Wednesday, police say.
According to Cleveland Chief of Police Clint Stout, one of the meth labs was found in an outdoor shed, and the other was inside the residence. Both were shake-and-bake, one-pot labs, he said.
Investigators spent nearly 11 hours at the home in the 200 block of Lester Lane, less than a block from the local hospital. The smell was so strong inside the home that it could be smelled in the street at one point, Stout said.
Arrested for endeavoring to manufacture and other complaints were: Ladonna Rose Maxwell, 56; her son and daughter-in-law Mark William Cameron Cady, 28, and Maggen Nicole Cady, 26; and Brian Clark Tilley, 34.
Joseph David Paul Fender, 31, was arrested on outstanding warrants. Stout said everyone but Fender lived in the home.
Police initially were investigating a theft incident on the block. They said a senior citizen reported things missing from his shed.
“It was pretty easy to follow the trail of the thieves, because they plugged an extension cord in and ran it next door,” Stout said.
Stout and his assistant chief, Todd Fenton, searched the shed next door for the stolen property and reportedly found a meth lab inside.
The pair requested a search warrant for the residence, which was signed by District Judge Jefferson Sellers later that day. Officers said they found another meth lab inside the house after executing the search.
“The smell inside the home was so strong,” Stout said. “So full of fumes we can’t even go back into it anymore.”
With meth labs, safety is the main concern and poses great danger to the public because of the explosive nature, the chief said.
“Here it is a half block from the hospital, the health and security of patients and staff were at risk, and then if school was in session, the kids are in jeopardy because it is within 1,000 feet of school property,” Stout said. “People who don’t know what they are doing, don’t do the cook properly because they cut corners, or people who are just high while they are cooking and don’t pay attention – it can explode, catch nearby houses on fire, be a danger to kids walking by. It’s not just illegal. It's incredibly dangerous.”
Stout and Fenton both are former county deputies and members of the drug task force.
“We have worked several, several meth labs,” Stout said. “And not only is a meth lab a risk for neighbors, but it is a risk to the health of all the investigators. To be in contact with those chemicals and hazardous materials in that kind of environment over and over, it takes a toll. It is a risk for everyone involved, but it’s important to do it and to get these people behind bars before things blow up.”
Stout said investigators arrived at the home about 1 p.m. on Wednesday and left about midnight. He says because of the ordinance in place by the City of Cleveland, he has the power to condemn “meth houses.” According to city law, the property owner must pay for cleanup, and the home must meet or be below the accepted level of toxins in order to be sold or inhabited again.
The home already has been condemned and notice has been posted, Stout said.
Police said they have been watching activity there, and the theft report gave probable cause to search the property.
“Ladonna has been on our radar for years for drugs,” Stout said. “Years and years.”
A child also was removed from the home and the Department of Human Services is involved in the case.
Stout said Fender was at the center of another incident earlier in the week that caused school officials to take precautions and keep students indoors during a police search. Fender on Monday reportedly was seen snooping in the backyards of neighboring homes and when asked why, claimed to be a city meter reader.
Stout believes the search on Monday, the alleged stolen property and the meth bust all are related.
Fender and Maxwell are convicted drug felons, and Tilley has a lengthy arrest record and a drug-related conviction on his record.
CPD says it also still is investigating the involvement of one more person in the meth ring.