The Woodward News

December 2, 2012

Burglary investigation leads to multiple arrests

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The recent burglary of a Woodward firearms retailer has led to multiple arrests and felony charge filings.

According to court records, the owner of Butch's Guns made a report to Woodward Police on Oct. 18 that his store had been burglarized, with the padlocks ground off a rear door and 16 guns stolen.

Court records describe several of the weapons as handguns, including a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson 1911, a .357 Magnum revolver, and a Taurus PT24/7 9mm.

Between Nov. 9 and Nov. 26, at least 9 people were charged in Woodward County District Court as a result of the investigation into the burglary.

Two men have been charged in connection with the burglary itself, while another 5 men and a woman were charged with concealing the stolen guns after the fact. An eighth man was charged with conspiracy for allegedly assisting other suspects hide guns.

Assistant District Attorney A. J. Laubhan said the police investigation into the burglary is ongoing.

"They're still investigating, it is still an open case, and we still think there may be more (charges) coming," Laubhan said.



2 CHARGED WITH BURGLARY

Robert Allen Blow, 20, and Jordan Michael Graham, 19, each face a felony charge of burglary in the second degree for allegedly breaking and entering into Butch's Guns with the intent to steal property.

According to affidavits filed with their charges both Blow and Graham allegedly confessed to the burglary during interviews with law enforcement agents on Nov. 9.

The affidavit in Graham's case also notes that a search warrant conducted at Graham's residence on Nov. 7 turned up camouflage clothing and masks and gloves matching those worn by the 2 suspects in the Butch's Guns burglary. A pair of boots with a tread matching a print found at the scene, a backpack containing price tags for 9 of the guns, and a cut padlock were also found at the residence, the affidavit states.



6 CHARGED WITH CONCEALING STOLEN GUNS, 1 WITH CONSPIRACY TO CONCEAL

Levi Kahle Lillard, 18; Ashkon Christopher Blasely Covalt, 19; Brannon J. Stanley, 25; Clayton Ray Wayne Allen, 19; Dakota Lynn Taylor, 18; and Trinity Breann Stricker, 18, each face a single felony count of knowingly concealing stolen property.

According to the affidavits filed in their respective cases all 6 allegedly admitted to investigators that they had at one point been in possession of at least one of the stolen guns.

Lillard allegedly admitted to having possessed 2 guns and giving one to Covalt to try to trade for drugs in Oklahoma City, while selling another to Ronald Phillpott for $250.

Covalt allegedly admitted to receiving the gun from Lillard. Stanley allegedly admitted to driving Covalt to Oklahoma City to try to trade the gun for drugs. But Stanley then left Covalt in the city and returned to Woodward with the gun, which he then allegedly took himself to Phillpott to sell in exchange for 7 grams of methamphetamine.

Allen allegedly admitted to taking one of the guns from Blow's vehicle, which he then allegedly sold to Phillpott as well for $200.

Taylor allegedly admitted to taking another 3 handguns from Blow and Graham as well as “a pink .380,” which his brother had purchased from Blow and Graham, and trading them for marijuana.

Stricker, who is described in one affidavit as Graham's girlfriend, allegedly admitted to hiding one of the guns in a toilet tank at Graham's request when police arrived at her residence to conduct a search on Nov. 7.

Sean Paul Chumley, 24, faces a felony charge of conspiracy and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer for allegedly assisting other suspects hide guns.

According to the affidavit filed with his charges, Chumley was interviewed on Nov. 7 about the burglary and allegedly told investigators that he knew Covalt had one of the stolen guns but didn't know where to find Covalt. Investigators later learned that following that interview, Chumley allegedly went to Stricker's residence to warn the unspecified “occupants” there that the police were looking for the guns, “and it was only a matter of time before we learned about the residence,” the affidavit states.

It is for this alleged warning that Chumley faces the obstruction charge.

He is also charged with conspiracy to conceal stolen property after he allegedly admitted to driving Lillard to Phillpott's residence “so Lillard could sell Phillpott one of the stolen guns,” according to the affidavit.



OTHER POSSIBLY RELATED CHARGES

The 23-year-old Phillpott himself is facing a felony firearms charge as well as 2 drug charges filed on Nov. 9, but it is unclear whether that charge stems directly from the investigation into the stolen guns.

Laubhan said that since the investigation is ongoing he couldn't comment about whether Phillpott's case was connected.

However, the affidavit filed with Phillpott's charge show that his home was searched on Nov. 8, just one day after investigators spoke with Chumley and searched Stricker's residence.

The affidavit doesn't explain why Phillpott's home was searched, but lists what items were allegedly discovered in the search:

•    a blue, transparent waterproof box which contained a green, leafy substance

•    a clear, plastic bottle labeled “Wicked X” which contained miscellaneous pills

•    3 plastic bags each containing a white, crystallized substance, with the bags having a combined weight in excess of 20 grams; a field test performed on one of these plastic bags allegedly showed a positive result for methamphetamine

•    2 firearms, including a .22 caliber revolver and a box with 50 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, and a .32 caliber Kel-Tec handgun and 6 rounds of .32 caliber ammunition

The affidavit does not describe the either of the 2 firearms as being stolen.

Because of the alleged evidence discovered in the search, Phillpott faces felony charges of trafficking in illegal drugs-methamphetamine, possessing a firearm during commission of a felony, and maintaining a place for keeping/selling controlled substances.

Since Phillpott shared the residence with Makenzie Nicole Harris, 19, she also faces charges of trafficking in illegal drugs and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Phillpott has previous felony convictions from 2009 for 2 counts of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling house resorted to users of controlled dangerous substances and 4 counts of knowingly concealing stolen property.

He is also facing additional charges filed in January 2012 for possession of CDS-methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school and charges from October 2012 for robbery with a dangerous weapon.



BOND AMOUNTS AND HEARING DATES

Graham and Blow each have preliminary hearings set for April 16, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. and their bonds were set at $25,000 each.

Stricker, Lillard, Covalt, Stanley, Allen and Taylor also all have preliminary hearing dates set for April 16, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.  The judge also set each of their bonds at $10,000.

However, Lillard and Stanley received PR bonds, which allowed them to be released on their own personal recognizance without having to pay a bond fee.  

Court minutes show that Lillard was released on the condition that he is under the constant supervision of his parents.  Stanley's release was also conditional upon him using no illegal substances and obtaining "gainful employment," court minutes state.

Both Lillard and Stanley have had attorneys enter a record of appearance in their cases.  Lillard is represented by Bart Bouse and Stanley is represented by David Christian.

Chumley's preliminary hearing is set for April 23, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.  He is out on a $10,000 bond.

According to records, Phillpott currently remains in custody after a $250,000 bond was set in the drug trafficking case.  The preliminary hearings for all 3 of his ongoing cases are set for January 15, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

Harris' bond was set at $150,000 and she is awaiting a preliminary hearing set for April 9, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.