Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

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August 2, 2013

Okla. man accused of sending drug-deal text to deputy

McALESTER, Okla. — Talk about a wrong number. An Oklahoma man is accused of mistakenly sending a text message to a sheriff's deputy in a neighboring county in an attempt to sell drugs.

Bobby Dean Whorton, 27, of McAlester, Okla., was charged with felony counts of endeavoring to deliver, manufacture or possess a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful use of a communication facility. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.

According to court records, Whorton allegedly sent a text message to Bob Russell, a sheriff's deputy in the neighboring county. Russell told investigators "he was receiving text messages on his cell phone from an individual ... wanting to sell him what he believed to be illegal narcotics," a police affidavit states.

On July 20, Russell contacted the McAlester Police Department and the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and reported the text messages. Police set up a meeting with Whorton via text message, and when Whorton arrived to make the deal, police approached him.

Whorton then ran, the affidavit states, and police pursued him. Whorton allegedly threw drugs and drug paraphernalia on the ground while he was running from the police, the affidavit states. Collected with other items of evidence was the cell phone from which Whorton allegedly sent the "wrong number" text messages.

If convicted, Whorton is facing up to life in prison. He is being held at the Pittsburg County jail in lieu of a $200,000 bond.

Rachel Peterson is a reporter for The McAlester News-Capital in McAlester, Okla.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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