avila

After fleeing police early Thursday morning, a Washington restaurant co-owner was arrested and charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance.

Jose A. Avila, 42, Washington, previously of Union, was charged Thursday in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance, one felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

Avila is the co-owner of Streetside Tacos in Downtown Washington. The restaurant opened in 2018 in the old Langenberg Hat Building in Downtown Washington.

This is the second arrest for Avila in less than a month.

Avila and William Roy Kuper, 30, Washington, were arrested in late 2019 by Oklahoma County Sheriff’s deputies. According to the arrest report, law enforcement found marijuana and a gun in the car the two were in Monday, Dec. 30.

In January 2020, a confidential informant allegedly completed two controlled purchases of cocaine from Avila, according to the probable cause statement filed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said the buys were for one gram of cocaine each.

The sales were conducted at Avila’s apartment listed as the 300 block of Front Street. The apartment is located within 2,000 feet of an elementary school. It also is located behind the restaurant.

The sheriff’s office said both seizures tested positive for cocaine using TruNarc.

Early Thursday morning, deputies attempted a traffic stop on Avila. He fled at a high rate of speed “during the morning rush hour,” according to the probable cause statement.

The sheriff’s office said Avila failed to obey traffic controls and refused to comply with officers.

The Franklin County SWAT team was involved in the arrest.

Deputies said a Taurus pistol was thrown from Avila’s vehicle. The pistol was located at the intersection of Highway 100 and Fifth Street in Washington.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for Avila’s apartment Thursday. During the search, law enforcement found marijuana, cocaine, scales, packaging and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, according to the probable cause statement.

The sheriff’s office said Avila confessed to possessing and disposing the pistol during the pursuit. Avila is a convicted felon making the possession illegal.

According to charging documents, Avila was convicted of a felony case of possession of a controlled substance in California in November 2000.

The sheriff’s office also said Avila admitted to selling “narcotics from his residence,” according to the probable cause statement.

Avila’s bond was set at $100,000 cash only. As of Friday morning, he was still in custody in the Franklin County Jail.

Previous Arrest

According to the incident report provided by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Avila and Kuper tried to enter Tinker Air Force Base, but were stopped by security at around 7 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30. Deputies were told the Chevy Tahoe had a “strong odor of marijuana coming from it and a bank bag of money.”

Kuper, who was driving, told authorities he had made a wrong turn and just needed to turn around. He said he was trying to get to a transmission shop. A security official at the base said Kuper and Avila had conflicting stories, according to the incident report.

Deputies said the smell was both of burnt and raw marijuana.

During an interview, Kuper told the deputy that he and Avila had gone to California to see a member of Avila’s family. Kuper told the deputy he had not smoked in the vehicle and there was nothing illegal in the car.

Avila told deputies that he had smoked marijuana in California, and said there might be a small amount of marijuana in the car. He said the vehicle belonged to him and it was having transmission problems.

Avila told deputies he did not give consent to search the car. He said there were a “couple of roaches” in the vehicle and they had just made a wrong turn on the way to a transmission shop, according to the report.

During an initial search, the deputy located two partially smoked joints inside. The deputy also found a white pill-looking container with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

In the back seat, the deputy found a box containing pipes and bongs in a brown box, according to the report. A backpack also was found that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and several other packages.

Deputies also located a Glock semi-automatic pistol in the car during a later search.

Both men, reported felons, were arrested and taken to the Oklahoma County Jail. Both men bonded out of jail and were released.