The typical grandmother bakes cookies for her grandchildren, but a Tahlequah grandmother has found herself in serious trouble for cooking meth after her 2-year-old granddaughter suffered chemical burns allegedly sustained at the woman's meth lab.
Brenda Vann, 54, was arrested on complaints of child abuse and manufacturing methamphetamine after the toddler sustained chemical burns from her armpit to her diaper area and was treated at a local hospital. Vann, who is accused of maintaining a meth lab in her home, was booked into Cherokee County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.
Burned Child Leads to Methamphetamine Investigation
According to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault, police obtained a search warrant for Vann's residence after the girl was burned in her care. Chennault says the search revealed a meth lab, lab components, and the shirt the toddler was wearing when she sustained the chemical burns. Investigators say the home was littered with dog and cat feces.
The child was placed in the protective custody of the Cherokee Nation.
Oklahoma has become infamous for the prevalence of methamphetamine, leading the nation in meth arrests and meth addiction, and the state ranks in the top five for nearly every meth category. In 2011, 843 meth labs were discovered in the state, up from 818 the previous year. More than half of the state's working meth labs were found in Tulsa.
Oklahoma's Meth Problem
The state's meth problem has prompted the government to take measures to attempt to reduce the manufacture of methamphetamine in an attempt to reduce meth addiction in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) created the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Prevention Initiative, and state legislators have restricted the sale of pseudoephedrine and developed the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry Act. Enumerated under Title 63 Section 2-701 of the Oklahoma Public Health Code, the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry Act reads in part as follows:
A. There is hereby created within the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control a registry of persons who, after November 1, 2010, have been convicted, whether upon a verdict or plea of guilty or upon a verdict or plea of nolo contendere, or received a suspended sentence or any deferred or probationary term, or are currently serving a sentence or any form of probation or parole for a crime or attempt to commit a crime including, but not limited to, unlawful possession, conspiring, endeavoring, manufacturing, distribution or trafficking of a precursor or methamphetamines under the provisions of Section 2-322, 2-332, 2-401, 2-402, 2-408 or 2-415 of this title, or any crime including, but not limited to, crimes involving the possession, distribution, manufacturing or trafficking of methamphetamines or illegal amounts of or uses of pseudoephedrine in any federal court, Indian tribal court, or any court of another state if the person is a resident of the State of Oklahoma or seeks to remain in the State of Oklahoma in excess of ten (10) days.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person subject to the registry created in subsection A of this section to purchase, possess or have control of any Schedule V compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine, its salts or optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers. A prescription for pseudoephedrine shall not provide an exemption for any person to this law. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than two (2) years and not more than ten (10) years, or by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
In short, the meth offender registry prohibits those convicted of the meth crimes from possessing pseudoephedrine or other ingredients or tools for making meth.
Meth Laws in Oklahoma
Possession or manufacture of methamphetamine is a felony offense subject to lengthy prison sentences, mandatory minimums, strict probation or parole terms, and meth offender registration. If you have been accused of a meth trafficking crime, it is important to find skillful criminal defense as quickly as possible to protect your rights. To find a drug defense lawyer in Oklahoma, please visit the our drug crimes page.