The target of a Lawton police investigation into the area’s methamphetamine trafficking network is in jail on $50,000 bond after investigators said they retrieved 25 pounds of the drug last week.
Larry Starr Hardison, 32, of Lawton, made his initial appearance Wednesday in Comanche County District Court where he was charged with felony counts of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs and conspiracy to commit aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, records indicate. Due to two prior felony convictions, he faces up to 40 years in prison for each felony charge if convicted.
Hardison and two other men, who have not been charged, were arrested following a traffic stop last Friday night.
The Lawton Police Department’s Special Operations Unit was keeping watch of Hardison’s home, 905 SW Garfield, when a vehicle known to be part of the network was seen leaving the home, according to the probable cause affidavit. At the time, police had information Hardison had picked up a large amount of meth to take to Amarillo, Texas.
Two men were seen loading large duffel bags into the trunk before getting inside a silver Honda Civic. According to the report, one man was seen removing a pistol from the inside waistband at the small of his back and put it into the passenger side door panel. Hardison walked to the car, spoke with the men inside, went back to the house and returned to get in the car’s back seat, the affidavit states.
The car was pulled over near Northwest Rogers Lane and U.S. 62 because the window tint was too dark, according to police. The men inside were ordered to get out and were detained by police. The driver told police he was taking his friends to Amarillo, Texas, for another friend’s funeral.
A K9 officer conducted an open-air sniff and alerted to drugs inside, providing probable cause for a search, according to the affidavit. The search yielded a loaded 9mm handgun under the front passenger seat and a bag containing 25 vacuum-sealed packages containing meth totaling 11,728.2 grams, or 25 pounds, of the drug were recovered.
Police estimated the street value of the meth as around $1.25 million.
During a search of Hardison’s home, detectives found a clear mason jar of marijuana in the living room, a digital scale with weight in the kitchen, another scale with meth residue and a black tub with a yellow lid containing meth residue, the affidavit states.
Hardison has prior felony convictions from Mays County in May 2017 for possession of a controlled drug with the intent to distribute, and from Craig County in November 2017, for first-degree robbery, records indicate.
Hardison returns to court at 3 p.m. Sept. 23 for his preliminary hearing conference.