CRAWFORD – Even with the Old West Trail Rodeo cancelled because of the coronavirus, the Dawes County Sheriff’s Office still had a busy 4th of July weekend in Crawford.
Sheriff Karl Dailey, who provides law enforcement inside the city limits under a contract with Crawford, says his deputies answered about 2 dozen calls of varying seriousness but made only 2 arrests, both in the same incident Friday morning.
Dailey says a local ranched called about 7:00 AM to report a pickup parked on the shoulder of Hwy 2/71 north of Crawford and blocking a pasture access gate.
The rancher said the driver and a passenger were both asleep and possibly intoxicated, so he wanted a deputy to check on their condition and to help move the pickup so he could move his cattle to a new pasture.
When deputies arrived, they found the driver, 27-year old Owen Christensen of Crawford, and the passenger, 30-year old Andrew Russell of Chadron, still asleep in the pickup.
The deputies woke up the pair and while speaking with them observed “illegal drug paraphernalia” in the cab. They detained Russell and Christensen and searched the pickup, seizing methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana along with 2 loaded guns before arresting both men.
Russell, a convicted felon, had one of the guns and was charged with possession of a weapon by a prohibited person as well as possession of meth, possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony, and possession of both less than an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Christensen was charged with the same counts except the first gun count and with the additional count of driving under suspension. Dailey says additional charges are possible, pending further investigation. Bail for Russell and Christensen was set at $50,000 each.