Warrants issued for Wards on harboring complaint

Arrest warrants were issued Monday for a Vian couple after a Muskogee County escapee was found sleeping in a mobile home on their property July 4.

The arrest warrants for Bob, 62, and Julie Ward, 57, husband and wife, carry the charge of harboring a fugitive from justice.

Acting on a tip, Sequoyah County Deputy Thomas Stafford went in search of Rick Brock at a residence on north U.S. 59 Highway, near the Brushy orchard on July 3.

According to Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane, Brock had escaped confinement in Muskogee County, where Brock had allegedly cut off his monitoring bracelet and left the area. Lane said deputies had been searching for Brock for about three weeks.

Stafford said in his affidavit for issuance of the warrant that he arrived at the residence on U.S. 59 and saw Brock standing next to a black Honda Ridgeline parked in the driveway.

When he pulled up to the pickup, Stafford said Brock ran into the woods. He said he and several deputies tried to locate Brock to no success.

Stafford said he recognized the pickup as belonging to Bob Ward and checked with dispatch to confirm it was, in fact, Ward's pickup.

“While still searching for Mr. Brock, Deputy Mark Choate advised that he had stopped a white in color car and came into contact with Julie Ward of Highway 59, just north of my location,” Stafford said in the affidavit.

Stafford said he and Chief Deputy Charles House went to the location where Choate had stopped Julie Ward to speak with her.

“She advised Mr. Ward had sent her to bring Mr. Brock a tire and wheel for the vehicle he had been driving. Mrs. Ward then called Mr. Ward and he advised, in fact, he had let Mr. Brock take his pickup because the vehicle he (Brock) was driving was out of fuel,” Stafford said.

Stafford said he asked Ward if the vehicle Brock was driving was a maroon Ford F-150, and Ward told him that truck was located at his (Ward's) residence and they had allowed Brock to stay the night at their residence, adding that Julie Ward said she knew Brock had stayed the night at their residence but was gone the next morning.

Stafford said he advised both the Wards at that time that Brock was a wanted fugitive and had Bob Ward's pickup towed due to it being involved in a felony.

After deputies were unable to locate Brock, on Wednesday, July 4, Stafford said he went to the Ward's residence at Vian to question them further to determine if they had additional information on Brock's whereabouts.

After attempting to make contact, Stafford said he went to the southwest corner of the Ward's property where he knew there were two trailers. “I observed a white in color trailer with the door open. Inside, I could see Mr. Brock sleeping on the bed. I then placed him into custody and transported him to the Sequoyah County Jail,” Stafford said.

Associate District Judge Kyle Waters found there was probable cause for the issuance of an arrest warrant for both the Wards.

Bob Ward is currently awaiting a hearing on a charge of knowingly concealing stolen property in connection with the theft of a Kubota tractor out of Muskogee County. Both he and Julie Ward were initially charged with the same offense in March, but charges were dismissed against Julie Ward last month and her court records expunged.

Brock is currently being held in the Sequoyah County Detention Center on an escape from confinement charge and three county warrants for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia with a motion to revoke, and possession of stolen property.

Sequoyah County Times

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