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Sheriff's Reports 6-25-24: Pair popped for drug possession, trafficking

A Minnesota pair were booked into jail on several drug-related charges after they were pulled over for a defective taillight.


On June 19, Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputy Nick Chute was on patrol in the area of 690 Road and 480 Road when he observed a truck with a defective taillight. Chute conducted a traffic stop and met with the two occupants, Paul Lee and Lia Vang. Chute said there were several marijuana plants in the bed of the truck. Both occupants said they didn't have a medical marijuana license and they were taking the plants to their house so someone could pick those up to take to Sequoyah County the next day. Chute searched the vehicle and found several bags of a white substance, smoking devices, a firearm and magazines, and over $1,300 in cash. There were approximately 28 grams of what appeared to be methamphetamine and close to 90 marijuana plants. Lee was transported to jail and booked for defective equipment, no driver's license, cultivation of marijuana, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, trafficking a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony, and possession of drug proceeds. Vang was booked for cultivation of marijuana, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, trafficking a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, and possession of drug proceeds.


Deputy Justin Richardson was patrolling the area of West Jones Road and North Rice Road June 9 when he observed a vehicle driving with its turn signal on for approximately .05 miles. The deputy said the vehicle, a Chevrolet Camaro, was left of center and traveling 20 miles below the posted speed limit. Dispatch advised the tag returned to a Dodge Avenger, belonging to a woman identified as Amanda from Bunch. Richardson conducted a traffic stop and met with a woman who reportedly began yelling that he was blinding her as she was driving and that was her reason for slowly driving. The deputy asked the woman, Angela Zahn, for her driver's license and proof of insurance. Zahn refused and said Richardson needed to listen to what she had to say. Richardson asked the woman again, or for her name and date of birth. She reportedly said she didn't know where those were. Zahn refused to exit the vehicle and the deputy ended up pulling her out before detaining her. Dispatch advised that Zahn was clear of warrants, but her driver's license was expired. Zahn was arrested and booked for driving left of center, driving without a driver's license, affixing improper tag, failure to have and provide driver's license while driving, driving with an expired license, and obstructing an officer.


On June 5, Deputy Richardson conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of State Highway 82A and State Highway 82B on a vehicle that was traveling 60 mph in a 35-mph zone. The deputy met with the driver who was identified as Melonie Johnson. Johnson handed Richardson an expired California driver's license and didn't have any form of insurance for the vehicle. The deputy informed Johnson that the vehicle would be impounded and advised her to step out. During a search of the vehicle, Richardson found a container of marijuana and Johnson said she didn't have a license to possess it. Johnson was arrested and Adderall pills were found on her person during the booking process.



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