By Josh Newton
Tahlequah Daily Press
Cherokee County sheriff’s officials on Monday ended a two-month search for a man accused of cooking methamphetamine in a Tahlequah shed and causing the structure to catch fire.
Arthur J. Adney, 48, had been at large since he fled a home on North Oak Avenue in late July. He was arrested Monday at a home in the Park Hill area on State Highway 82 south after he was found hiding beneath a blanket.
Authorities attempted to locate Adney last Thursday at a Fort Gibson-area home during a warrant sweep, but were unable to find him. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown said the sheriff’s office later received a tip that Adney might be at a home in the Park Hill area.
Brown said he went to the home Monday and was met by several people who denied anyone else was present, but investigators had previously observed a man entering the home. Brown said authorities found Adney hiding under a blanket in a bedroom. They also said they discovered a one-pot methamphetamine lab, drugs, drug paraphernalia and a 22-caliber rifle in the home.
Investigators arrested Adney and four others for endeavoring to manufacture meth and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. Several of them are also expected to face charges for possession of paraphernalia, authorities said.
In July, Tahlequah fire fighters were called to North Oak Avenue after a shed caught fire behind a house. They saw Adney inside the building retrieving items believed to be associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Adney was reportedly uncooperative with fire fighters and eventually had to be sprayed with a fire hose to keep him out of the building. Investigators said Adney ignored instructions to stay at the scene and loaded into a van with Emily M. Bright, 24, and two children. They then fled the area, nearly hitting several Tahlequah fire fighters as they drove through the yard, court documents allege.
Police spotted the van on Water Avenue a short time later and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Adney jumped out of the vehicle and escaped. Bright stayed behind in the van and was arrested.
Adney was charged in August with manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance-possession of materials with intent to manufacture, and second-degree arson for the shed fire. Bright was charged with endeavoring to manufacture a CDS for the July incident. She was also arrested Monday afternoon at the Park Hill home, investigators said.