Getting meth off the streets: Madill officer recognized for work during drug bust

Sierra Rains
Madill Police Department Chief Donald Yow (left) presents Sgt. Shannon Beshirs (right) with a letter of commendation Tuesday for his work on a drug trafficking incident.

A Madill police sergeant was recognized for his work after recovering more than 50 grams of meth and other drugs from a suspect charged with drug trafficking and employing a minor in drug related crimes last week.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Madill Police Department Chief Donald Yow presented several letters of commendation to officers at the department. Sgt. Shannon Beshirs was among those recognized for his diligence and investigative skills demonstrated while working a Feb. 4 drug bust.

At around 8:16 p.m. on Feb. 4 Beshirs was patrolling the northbound area of Highway 177 in Madill, according to an incident report authored by Beshirs. As he approached the end of the four lanes, Beshirs reportedly observed a vehicle traveling 15 mph over the posted speed limit and initiated a traffic stop.

The driver, 29-year-old Hector Santiago of Madill, informed Beshirs that he did not have a valid driver’s license. A juvenile male was also sitting in the passenger seat at the time.

“While speaking with Mr. Santiago I was overwhelmed with the odor I know to be, based on my training and experience, to be the odor (of) marijuana coming from inside the vehicle,” Beshirs said.

When asked whether there was any marijuana inside the vehicle, Santiago eventually admitted that he had a “joint” and handed Beshirs a hand rolled marijuana cigarette from his jacket pocket.

After pulling up prior records on Santiago, Beshirs apprehended him for operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and possession of marijuana. However, Beshirs later noticed something unusual about the juvenile sitting in the passenger seat of Santiago’s vehicle.

Beshirs said he instructed Santiago to have another individual come pick the juvenile up and asked the juvenile to exit the vehicle.

“As (the juvenile) was exiting the vehicle, I observed him to be favoring the front part of his body as if he was slightly bent forward at the waist,” Beshirs said in the report. “I scanned the front part of (the juvenile’s) body, observing a large bulge under the waist band of his pants.”

Beshirs reportedly asked the juvenile what he had concealed under his clothing and the juvenile eventually stated that he was concealing items that did not belong to him.

Three glass smoking pipes — two with white residue inside, five plastic bags containing a crystal-like substance, a plastic bag containing 10 oval shaped pills and a square box containing a set of digital scales were retrieved from the juvenile.

The juvenile was apprehended and transported to the Madill Police Department. While taking inventory of the vehicle Beshirs reportedly retrieved a container of marijuana as well.

Upon returning to the police department, Beshirs interviewed the juvenile. “He stated Mr. Santiago retrieved two boxes from the backpack in the rear seat and told him to get the items out and hide them on his person,” Beshirs said in the report.

The juvenile reportedly told Beshirs that he did not want Santiago to get into trouble so he did as he was told. The Office of Juvenile Affairs was informed and the juvenile was later released to a relative.

The substances retrieved during the incident were field tested and, in total, amounted to 53.85 grams of meth and 15.63 grams of marijuana.

Santiago is currently being held at the Marshall County Jail for the felony charges of trafficking in illegal drugs and encouraging a minor to participate in drug related crimes. Santiago’s bond is set at $75,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 20.