CN Marshals, Delaware Co. Bust Meth Lab, Discover Pipe Bombs
COLCORD -- Delaware County Sheriff’s officers and Cherokee Nation Marshals discovered a methamphetamine lab and pipe bombs during a raid at a Delaware County residence on Tuesday.
Acting on authority of a district court search warrant, Cherokee Nation Marshals, working with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department, entered the residence of James and Deana Schaefer early Tuesday morning. Upon entry, the Schaefers threw toxic chemicals at the officers as they approached, placing both themselves and the officers in danger.
"We had to make a choice," said Delaware County Sheriff Lendon Woodruff. "We either had to go in and rescue these people, and expose ourselves to these toxic chemicals, or we could leave them in there to die."
Woodruff and Cherokee Nation Marshal Murray Gross arrested the Schaefers, but the officers were then taken to the Grove medical center for treatment. Both officers had inhaled toxic fumes, but were later released from the hospital. The suspects also received medical attention prior to being transported to the Delaware County Jail.
"It’s a huge problem we face when dealing with meth labs," said Dave Roberts, director of the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service. "Because of the nature of the drug, the meth environment is very dangerous for law enforcement. Every one of the officers on the scene was exposed to toxic chemicals. Then our marshals found the pipe bombs."
While surveying the chemicals and drug paraphernalia, a Cherokee Nation Marshal discovered two pipe bombs. The marshals established an outer perimeter and called for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squad. The bomb squad disposed of the devices. OHP bomb technicians, after disarming the bombs, declared that there was a high potential that these devises were loaded and had the potential for detonation.
A veteran meth lab investigator on the scene said that this was one of the largest active labs he’s seen in recent years.
The marshals worked with Delaware County officers, federal Drug Enforcement Agency officers and local drug task force officers to complete the bust, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squad to deal with the explosives.
"This was a joint effort between the Cherokee Nation Marshals and Delaware County," Woodruff said.
"We made a common effort against a common enemy to make the entire community safer," Roberts said.
James and Deana Schaefer, both 34, are currently in the Delaware County Jail in Jay.