Alva Review-Courier -

Meth handoff goes awry


A man allegedly tried to hand a bag of meth to the wrong person at an Alva convenience store. That person contacted law enforcement with a vehicle description including the license plate number.

Court records show on May 27 about 7:10 p.m., Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale called Alva Police Officer James Jones about the incident. Jones immediately started patrolling the area looking for the white Ford Ranger. He located it in the Walmart parking lot.

While Jones was waiting for the vehicle to leave the parking lot, Dale ran the plate and identified the registered owner as Michael Baldwin. When provided with an image, Jones was able to identify Baldwin as the man sitting in the driver’s seat.

When Baldwin left the parking lot, Jones got behind and followed him westbound on Oklahoma Boulevard. Jones states he could see Baldwin moving around erratically, reaching across to the passenger side of the vehicle and backseat. While doing so, Baldwin began swerving back and forth in his lane. At approximately Oklahoma Boulevard and Noble Street, Jones saw the vehicle cross the white dotted line before moving back into his lane. Jones activated his lights and siren, and Baldwin pulled over just north of Oklahoma Boulevard on 2nd Street.

Undersheriff Dale arrived to assist with the traffic stop.

Jones informed Baldwin he was being stopped for failing to maintain his lane. When asked for his license and security verification, Baldwin acted nervous, fumbling through numerous cards from two wallets. He said he did not have a license but explained he had a paper that would allow him to drive. Baldwin could not provide Jones with that document or security verification for the vehicle. Baldwin was able to provide a Kansas identification card.

When Jones asked Baldwin to step out of the vehicle, Baldwin was hesitant to do so. He was adamant that he would rather stay inside the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Jones states Baldwin was reaching into other compartments of the vehicle and into area that were cluttered. Baldwin exited the vehicle and walked to the rear of the vehicle.

Dale asked Baldwin to place the belongings in his hands on the tailgate of the pickup. While Dale attempted to pat down Baldwin for weapons, he began to pull away from Dale. Baldwin was detained and placed in handcuffs.

When Jones contacted dispatch to run Baldwin’s Kansas ID card, he was notified that Baldwin’s license had been restricted out of Kansas and that he only had an identification card.

Jones then radioed for a drug dog to be brought to the location. Baldwin’s wallets and jeans pockets produced currency totaling $459.13.

Baldwin was placed under arrest for driving with no valid driver’s license and read his Miranda Rights. He replied that he understood his rights.

Sgt. Kris Franta arrived at the location with K9 Gator to conduct a free air sniff around the vehicle. K9 Gator was able to provide a positive alert to narcotics being located in the vehicle.

When searching the vehicle, officers located multiple types of narcotics and drug paraphernalia including approximately 25.9 grams of methamphetamine, 12 grams of raw marijuana, two digital scales with residue, nine medical syringes (two of them loaded with a controlled dangerous substance), a silver spoon with a cotton patch, a lighter and a container with marijuana wax.

After the items were seized, a wrecker was contacted to tow the vehicle, and Baldwin was transported to the Woods County Jail where he was booked in without incident.

On May 31, Michael Lawrence Baldwin, 62, of Alva, was charged with trafficking in illegal drugs, a felony. His bond was set at $75,000.

Baldwin was also charged with misdemeanors of possession of controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $2,000 on those charges.

The next day, May 28, officers served a felony arrest warrant on Reid Gibson at Baldwin’s home address in the 1200 block of Locust Street. Following that incident (covered in a separate story), more charges were filed against Baldwin.


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