Meth thrown out of vehicle during high-speed pursuit in Ardmore, three taken into custody

Sierra Rains

An unknown amount of illegal drugs were scattered across the roadway in Ardmore this weekend after they were thrown out of a vehicle during a pursuit. Ardmore police have collected the drugs and three individuals were taken into custody in relation to the incident. 

On Friday, Sept. 11 at around 5:30 p.m. a patrol officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle that had failed to signal in the 500 block of I Street Northeast.

APD Capt. Claude Henry said the vehicle refused to stop for the officer and led police on a pursuit throughout the Northeast part of Ardmore. The fleeing vehicle reportedly reached unsafe speeds on neighborhood streets. 

“At one point they reached speeds of up to 50 mph on O Street Northeast,” Henry said. “Whenever the suspect vehicle approached O and 2nd Street Northeast the officer noted that there was an object that was thrown out of the passenger side window.”

Patrol officers were later able to go back to the area and locate the object. Henry said it appeared that it had contained a methamphetamine substance. “During the pursuit there were several times where the passengers were throwing illegal drugs out the window,” Henry said. 

In the 2900 block of 3rd Avenue Northeast, an object reportedly containing methamphetamine was again thrown out of the suspect vehicle. Henry said officers were able to collect the drugs thrown out the window as evidence, but do not have an estimate on the amount of drugs at this time. 

“At this time we do not have an estimated weight on the illegal drugs that were thrown from the vehicle,” Henry said. “When they were thrown from the vehicle, they bursted onto the roadways and ground and we were having to gather up what we could.”

The pursuit continued into Dickson, where the Oklahoma Highway Patrol took the lead on Highway 70. Shortly after, an OHP trooper used a tactical vehicle intervention, a pursuit tactic which causes a fleeing car to spin 180 degrees, to stop the suspect vehicle. 

The driver was identified as 61-year-old Ira Thompson, of Healdton. Troopers reportedly found that Thompson had an outstanding felony warrant out of Carter County for endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine. 

Thompson was taken into custody for the outstanding Carter County warrant, destroying evidence, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to signal. He may also face additional charges from OHP. 

Two passengers in the vehicle, 41-year-old John Valenzuela, of California, and 40-year-old Christy Baker, of Healdton, were also taken into custody for destroying evidence, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

All three subjects were transported to the Carter County jail and charges are pending review by the district attorney’s office. “It’s important that people pull over whenever we attempt to make traffic stops,” Henry said.