Alva Review-Courier -

15 firearms seized from Alva residence


September 29, 2019

A tip to a law enforcement information agency led to charges against an Alva man, a convicted felon, and the seizure of 15 firearms from his residence.

According to the affidavit filed in the case, Alva Police Officer John Caviness was made aware of a tip received by the Oklahoma Fusion Information Center on July 22. The center is operated under the direction of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The tipster was reported to have important information regarding suspected drug trafficking and potential violence near Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.

The unidentified caller stated to the Fusion Center that Samual Garrett who lives on Young Street less than two blocks from the university has a locker in his room where he keeps very large bags twice the size of pillow cases worth of sealed sacks of marijuana. The caller said the marijuana was shipped in from Colorado several times a month. The tipster also said Garrett has made threats to his family with a gun and has many of them. The caller indicated suspicion that Garrett was a repeat offender with other charges against him in the past and said a small child was believed to be in the home.

Officer Caviness began an investigation in August, learning Garrett had been arrested in New Mexico in May 1989 for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, however these charges were dropped. In March 1994 in Irving, Texas, Garrett was arrested and convicted of a felony for delivering and possessing a controlled dangerous substance.

In March 2007 Garrett was arrested in Woods County on felony charges of unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance methamphetamine with intent to distribute (two counts), unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance marijuana with intent to distribute, and unlawful possession of firearm during commission of a felony. On Jan. 29, 2008, Garrett pled guilty to unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance. On Aug. 30, 2018, in Woods County Garrett was charged with reckless conduct with a firearm.

On Aug. 30 Caviness went to Garrett’s residence on Young Street. He met Garrett and explained he was investigating an anonymous tip concerning the possession of marijuana and firearms. Garrett said he had an Oklahoma medical marijuana card and he had a few ounces of marijuana inside the residence.

When asked if he had any firearms, Garrett said his common-law wife Tasha Morris had a couple but “She is legal; she has never been in trouble.” Asked specifically about rifles, Garrett said he had hunting rifles, but he was trying to sell them.

Caviness asked if he could look inside their residence where the firearms were kept. Morris said her dog was inside and was protective. Caviness asked her to put her dog up and continued talking to Garrett outside. While they talked, Garrett said he went to prison in Texas and did two and a half years of a five year sentence.

When Morris returned after putting the dog up, Caviness said he just wanted to look at the firearms. Garrett agreed and invited him inside. Caviness followed Morris down a hallway into a bedroom she verified was hers and Garrett’s.

In the bedroom, Morris used a key to unlock a gun safe. When asked, she said that was where they kept all their guns. Caviness observed multiple rifles and shotguns inside. Morris said some of the firearms belonged to their children and some were Garrett’s hunting guns.

Caviness asked Garrett to come and identify the guns. Removing them from the safe, Garrett described them by make, model and caliber and explained how he came in possession of each. According to the affidavit, Garrett said, “I acquire guns then I have to get rid of them.” He said the kid he bought the AK-47 from was coming back for it in October.

Garrett stated all the firearms were semiautomatic. He also told Caviness, “I can’t really sell them without getting in trouble. I can’t legally sell them to somebody, and they go to the wrong hands.” While they were talking, Caviness observed a Mason jar half-full of marijuana that was near where Garrett was sitting.

When Caviness asked about ammunition for the firearms, Garrett showed him where it was located. Caviness states in the affidavit there were 2,380 rounds. Garrett opened the door to an adjacent bedroom where Caviness observed a young male juvenile.

During his investigation, Caviness discovered NWOSU’s South Hall dormitory is located 211.52 feet north of Garrett’s residence.

Caviness placed Garrett under arrest for violating Oklahoma State Statute 211283, which states convicted felons are constitutionally prohibited from carrying firearms. This further extends to owning a firearm, keeping a firearm in one’s home, and/or being a driver or passenger in a vehicle with a firearm. The felony conviction can be from any state.

A total of 15 firearms were removed from the house for evidence.

Samual Lee Garrett, 50, of Alva, has been charged with possession of firearms after former felony conviction. This felony is punishable by imprisonment for one to ten years.


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