Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Steven Bradley Bears

EDITOR’S NOTE: The people charged with felonies and misdemeanors are innocent until they plead guilty or are proven guilty in court. Those who want the final disposition of their case reported in the Pawhuska Journal-Capital should call Robert Smith at 918-287-7366.


Stolen U-Haul truck with Arizona license plate

NAME: Jerry Lee Burris

AGE: 54


CHARGES: Possession of a stolen vehicle; bringing contraband into jail; driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; driving while the privilege is revoked; TOC (intoxicating beverage); and failure to obey a traffic control device

DETAILS: State Trooper Romulus Gregory, about 10:50 p.m. Jan. 9, was on patrol along with Osage County deputy sheriff Johnny Porter. Gregory observed a U-Haul truck headed north on North 52nd West Avenue that failed to reduce its speed in a timely manner and came to a stop in the middle of the intersection of North 52nd West Avenue and West 103rd Street North. The U-Haul truck then turned left into the entrance of a private drive. Trooper Gregory and Deputy Porter then initiated a traffic stop on the truck, which had an Arizona license plate. Gregory noted that the driver of the truck quickly exited the vehicle and walked to its front. Porter approached on the driver’s side of the truck and Gregory approached on the passenger side. Deputy Porter reportedly secured the driver of the truck and noticed a small, black container that he reportedly was trying to conceal. Deputy Porter took the container and opened it, reportedly showing Trooper Gregory the contents, which Gregory described in a case affidavit as “illegal drug related items.” Gregory spoke to a passenger in the truck and asked that person to get out. The passenger was secured. Gregory checked the black container and reportedly recovered a piece of a crystal-like substance, a plastic baggie of crystal-like substance, a piece of plastic with a residue of a green leafy substance, and a round gray pill that was later identified as OxyContin. Gregory made contact with the driver and reportedly smelled an obvious odor of an alcohlic beverage on his breath and about his person. Gregory also reportedly smelled an odor associated with marijuana. Gregory asked the driver of the truck when he had last used illegal drugs and the driver reportedly said it was about 6 p.m. The driver reportedly said he had smoked methamphetamine and marijuana. The driver, who was identified as Jerry Lee Burris, reportedly did not have a driver’s license. Gregory did a records check and learned that Burris’ driving privileges were listed as suspended and revoked. Gregory also did a check on the U-Haul truck and found that it was listed as stolen on Jan. 2. Burris and his passenger reportedly said they had borrowed the U-Haul from a woman in Turley. Gregory administered field sobriety testing to Burris and then arrested him. At the Osage County jail, Burris reportedly told a detention officer that he did not have any other illegal items on his person, but the officer found three Alprazolam pills for which Burris could not present a valid prescription. An arrest warrant for Burris was issued Jan. 23 in Osage County District Court.

Accused of hitting girlfriend in the face with propane bottle

NAME: Rocky Lee Ratliff

AGE: 40


CHARGE: Domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon

DETAILS: Hominy police officer Darian Prochaska, about 1:08 a.m. on Jan. 20, was dispatched to 1105 South She She in regard to a report of a domestic incident in progress. When Officer Prochaska arrived, she found the door of the residence open. She knocked and called out “Police Department” to make her presence known. The alleged victim of a domestic altercation reportedly came to the door, holding a hand towel up to her face. The victim lowered the towel from her face and Officer Prochaska reportedly observed “a large amount of blood on her face and nose area.” Prochaska asked for an ambulance to be dispatched and told the victim she would need to make pictures of her injuries. The victim reportedly said Rocky Lee Ratliff, with whom she had been living, hit her in the face. The victim reportedly said that she and Ratliff had argued because he wanted to smoke his “dope,” and she had pointed out to him that he needed to go to bed because he was due to report to work the next morning. Ratliff allegedly used a small propane bottle to hit the victim in the face. In a Jan. 28 hearing in Osage County District Court, the court entered a not guilty plea for Ratliff and conditioned his bond on having no contact with the alleged victim. According to case paperwork submitted to the court by prosecutors, Ratliff has prior felony convictions for second-degree burglary and manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance.

Trooper clocked him at 65 in a 50 mph zone

NAME: Dakota Glenn Welch

AGE: 18

RESIDENCE: Sand Springs

CHARGES: Child endangerment by driving under the influence; driving while under the influence of drugs; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; driving without a valid license; speeding; and failure to wear a seat belt

DETAILS: State Trooper Justin Garrison, about 5:18 p.m. Jan. 17, was on patrol on New Prue Road near Brush Creek Road when he spotted a silver, four-door car headed north at a high rate of speed. Trooper Garrison clocked the silver car at 65 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone. Garrison initiated a traffic stop and asked the driver of the silver Honda Accord for his driver’s license and proof of insurance. The driver reportedly said he did not have a license and handed the trooper a proof of insuance document along with an Oklahoma ID. Garrison reportedly noticed a “strong odor of marijuana” coming from the car. He also noted there were three adult passengers and a juvenile passenger in the car with the driver, who was identified as Dakota Glenn Welch. Garrison further noted that Welch and his front-seat passenger were not properly wearing their seat belts. Welch reportedly admitted to the trooper that he had smoked marijuana about 3 p.m. and said that there was more marijuana in the vehicle, in his girlfriend’s possession. Welch reportedly said he did not have a state-issued medical marijuana patient card. Garrison administered field sobriety testing and then arrested Welch. In a Jan. 24 hearing in Osage County District Court, the court entered a not guilty plea for Welch and set a case status conference for Feb. 20. Welch’s bail was set at $5,000.

Deputy clocked him at 64 in a 50 mph zone

NAME: Thomas Eugene Grapes

AGE: 30


CHARGES: Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia; and speeding

DETAILS: Osage County deputy sheriff Kevin Young, about 1:15 p.m. Jan. 23, reportedly observed Thomas Eugene Grapes operating a 2017 Mitsubishi at a speed of 64 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone, on North 52nd West Avenue, near West 64th Place North. Deputy Young conducted a traffic stop and reportedly observed indicators — including the odor of burnt marijuana, poor balance and slow, slurred speech — that the suspect was under the influence of marijuana. Young conducted field sobriety testing and subsequently arrested Grapes. The suspect reportedly refused the offer of a blood test. In a hearing Jan. 24 in Osage County District Court, the court entered a not guilty plea for Grapes. In a Jan. 30 hearing, the court appointed legal representation for Grapes.

Bad headlight led to drug bust

NAME: Steven Bradley Bears

AGE: 44


CHARGES: Unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia

NAME: Kenneth D. Jones Jr.

AGE: 29


CHARGES: Unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute; possession of a controlled dangerous substance; and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia

DETAILS: Osage Nation police officer Patrick Luey Jr., who is also an Osage County deputy sheriff, about 1:05 a.m. Jan. 19, had just finished helping with a traffic stop when he noticed a silver-colored, two-door vehicle in the 900 block of 36th Street North that had a non-functioning headlight. Officer Luey followed the silver car, which entered the Osage Casino parking lot. The silver car had a temporary paper tag. Luey noticed that while the car was moving through the casino parking lot, two backseat passengers seemed to be moving around. Luey stopped the car and approached, asking the driver if he knew why he was being stopped. Before the driver could respond, a passenger reportedly said, “That headlight goes on and off all the time.” One of the three passengers in the car — Kenneth Jones, 29, whose name was on the paper temporary license plate — reportedly appeared eager to answer all of the officer’s questions, and Officer Luey indicated in his case affidavit it appeared as though Jones didn’t want Bears to answer questions. Luey asked Bears a series of questions about illegal drugs, asking in turn if there might be any marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin in the car. Luey noted in his affidavit that Bears responded to the questions about marijuana and methamphetamine by glaring at him and then saying, “no.” Luey noted that Bears said “no” to the questions about cocaine and heroin without hesitation. Officer Luey told the occupants of the car that he was going to walk a police dog around their vehicle for a free air sniff. As Luey was headed back to his patrol vehicle, he reportedly noticed two passengers in the suspect vehicle “moving swiftly in the back seat.” “I could see clothing and blankets being stuffed frantically in the back seat,” Luey said. Officer Luey brought his police dog over to the suspect vehicle for a sniff. The dog reportedly reacted in the vicinity of the right, rear fender. The dog placed his nose on the car and looked back at Luey. Officer Luey had the driver and three passengers exit their vehicle. As they were getting out, Jones reportedly asked Luey if his dog had alerted. Officer Luey told Jones the dog had, indeed, alerted and Jones reportedly said there might be some “weed” in the car. Officer Luey conducted a search of the vehicle and found a glass smoking pipe; a backpack containing a toothbrush holder with three syringes in it, and an orange elastic band that might be used when looking for a vein into which to inject substances; and a pill bottle with four partially smoked cigars in it, some green leafy substance mixed with ashes, and a silver clip. Luey asked who was the owner of the backpack and no one would claim it, but Jones reportedly told Bears he needed to be honest and say the pack belonged to him. Luey then began searching the suspects. On Bears, the officer reportedly found a baggie of a green, leafy substance. Bears reportedly said his medical marijuana patient card had recently been stolen. On Jones, the officer reportedly found a plastic baggie with a crystalline substance in it. Jones reportedly said, “I bought the synthetic marijuana at the smoke shop and they gave me that.” Officer Luey told Jones the substance in the bag wasn’t synthetic marijuana. Luey reportedly told Jones the contents of the baggie looked like methamphetamine. Jones reportedly admitted it was meth. Luey asked Bears if he was Native American. When Bears said that he is Native American, Luey told him that he was being arrested for a dangeous drug offense under the Osage Nation code. One of the two female passengers reportedly handed over a bag of illegal drugs that had been hidden in her bra. What Luey reportedly received was a medium-sized bag containing eight smaller bundles of a crystalline substance. There were also reportedly four small bundles of suspected marijuana. Luey later asked Bears about his CDIB card, and Bears reportedly said he had never had one. Luey noted that meant that Bears would fall under the jurisdiction of the Osage County District Court. In hearings Jan. 24 in Osage County District Court, the court entered not guilty pleas for Bears and Jones. It set their bail at $20,000 each.