JAY, Okla. – A Grove woman accused of trafficking fentanyl and other narcotics began sobbing uncontrollably and hugging her attorney after learning her drug and weapon charges were dismissed at the end of Wednesday’s preliminary hearing.
During most of the preliminary hearing, Shanie Marie Roberts, 47, showed little emotion as evidence was presented on charges of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs, unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a controlled dangerous substance without tax stamp affixed, all felonies.
At the conclusion of the hearing in Delaware County District Court in Jay, Terry Allen, Roberts’ attorney, made a demurrer to evidence, arguing that the state had not met its burden of proof. Special Judge Nick Lelecas allowed the demurrer on the record and granted the defense’s motion, dismissing the case against Roberts.
According to Cornell Law School “to demur refers to making a pleading that challenges the sufficiency or adequacy of pleadings of another party.”
Roberts looked at her attorney, asking if she was really free.
At the center of the case was a large amount of drugs police say they found in a large safe at Roberts’ home.
During the examination of drug enforcement officers, Jordee Maner and Jamey Lennox, both testified that Roberts said, during the September drug bust, she didn’t know the combination to the large safe.
Rowdy Roberts, Shanie Roberts’s youngest son, gave the agents the safe’s combination, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
“She didn’t have control of the safe and no ability to open it,” said Terry Allen, Roberts’s attorney. “The state failed to meet its burden of proof,” he said.
Allen argued investigators did not find any drugs in Roberts’s possession other than marijuana.
“She had a medical marijuana card,” Allen said during the hearing.
At the onset of the preliminary hearing, prosecutor Misty Fields announced they were dropping the charge of unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute. Fields also announced she was amending the trafficking charge to include 166.95 grams of fentanyl.
Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drug enforcement agents say they seized over 30 guns and pills in various colors and shapes, some in a sealed zip-lock bag.
According to the search warrant, authorities seized ammunition, fentanyl pills, 1,000 alprazolam pills (generic Xanax), multiple bags containing an unknown white powder, multiple bags containing mushrooms, digital scales, multiple glass bottles labeled alprazolam, multiple clear capsules containing an unknown substance and approximately $1,200 from the Roberts’ Grove residence.
Rusty and Rowdy Roberts are members of the Cherokee Nation tribe and were charged in Cherokee Nation Criminal Court in Tahlequah with two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of possession of drugs without tax stamps affixed and acquired proceeds of drug activity.
The brothers are accused of distributing fentanyl in the Grove area, according to an arrest affidavit.
They are scheduled to return to court on April 20.