Pot found when police serve domestic violence protective order
Valdez man Will Wardlaw II was arrested and charged with felony drug possession Saturday after police found him to be in procession of over a pound of marijuana while serving a domestic violence protection order.
Wardlaw, age 31, was arrested and charged with one count of criminal mischief, one count of violating a domestic violence protective order, two counts of driving with a suspended drivers license and felony count of misconduct involving a controlled substance.
“I’m quite happy with the work of the officers,” Bill Comer, Valdez police chief said. “I think that will at least temporarily” stem the town’s marijuana supply.
Wardlaw was arraigned at the Valdez jail Saturday and bail was set at $4,000 with a third party custodian requirement.
Wardlaw’s further troubles began Friday, December 14, when police went to his mobile home at Valdez Mobile Home Park (Southcentral) to serve him with a domestic violence protective order. Part of the order required Wardlaw to relinquish procession of a Toyota pickup truck to the victim, the actual owner of the vehicle. According to charging documents, Wardlaw was reluctant to turn the keys over to police officers “but eventually did so.”
He turned the keys over to police and told them the vehicle was parked at the Mt. Sky Hotel in town. When police went to recover the vehicle, it was not there. Police returned to Wardlaw’s mobile home and found him on his porch, with a bloody knee.
Police officer Jamison Major asked Wardlaw where the truck was, and he said it was in his garage. There, police found the truck with its back window busted out with a hatchet.
Wardlaw was arrested.
The owner of the property gave police permission to search it, and found three Christmas cookie type tins on shelving. The tins contained vacuum sealed bags of marijuana, weighing 1.4 pounds.
Others in residence denied knowledge of the tins and the contents police said.
The truck’s owner also gave police permission to search it. The charging documents say police found more marijuana in smaller packaging in the vehicle. Police began further investigation and discovered Wardlaw had received a large package in the mail that contained Christmas tins identical to those found by police that contained marijuana.
Comer declined to comment as to whether or not police are alleging the tins contained marijuana when sent through the US Postal Service.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said.
“During the arrest, Officers seized approximately 1.74 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $20,000 and $1,600 in currency,” a press release issued by police said.
Wardlaw’s troubles with the law began earlier that week, when police responded to a domestic disturbance call Thursday, which resulted in the protective order.
The allegations Wardlaw drove without a valid license stem from the fact his license is suspended and he allegedly drove vehicles Dec. 10 and Dec. 14.
“That was a good score for the guys,” Comer said.