Sean Sutton arrested on drug complaints
BY BILL HAISTEN and SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writers
Friday, February 12, 2010
2/12/10 at 6:27 PM
Documents: View a PDF of Sean Sutton's probable cause affidavit.
By Susan Hylton and Bill Haisten
World Staff Writers
STILLWATER — Former Oklahoma State basketball head coach Sean Sutton obtained prescription drugs from two women he met in a drug rehabilitation center, according to a law enforcement affidavit.
Payne County District Attorney Robert Hudson said that he anticipates filing charges against Sutton Tuesday of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, possession of Oxycontin, attempted possession of Adderral and Clonazepam, and use of a communication device — a cell phone — to commit a felony.
Sutton was arrested Thursday following an investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He was released on $10,000 bond about 3:30 p.m. Friday on the condition that he go to a treatment center, Hudson said.
An arraignment has been set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
“It’s unfortunate,” Hudson said. “We know it’s going to be a blow to our community, OSU and all the friends of the Sutton family, but the criminal justice system has to treat him like everyone else. Justice should be blind.”
Hudson said he hoped Sutton would get the help he needs.
Sutton was in the Stillwater city jail Friday morning suffering withdrawal symptoms from pain killers, officials said.
“He’s sick,” Assistant District Attorney Tom Lee said.
Sutton’s attorney, Trace Morgan, declined comment as he was leaving the courthouse after meeting with the DA’s office Friday afternoon.
Hudson said Sutton does not have any prior criminal charges.
Sutton has allegedly breached a stay-clean arrangement he had with the OBNDD last fall.
OBNDD Spokesman Mark Woodward said that in the fall of 2009, Sutton told agents he was addicted to prescription drugs and agreed to go to treatment.
“We did confirm that (Sutton) was going to multiple doctors and unlawfully obtaining painkillers. We confronted him and he admitted to it,” Woodward said.
After Sutton completed his treatment, he was supposed to stay in touch with OBNDD agents, but they lost contact with him during the last few weeks of January, Woodward said.
He said the agency began receiving information that Sutton was ordering drugs from Washington state and New York.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Payne County District Court Friday, OBNDD Agent Brian Surber said he retrieved a Federal Express package addressed to Sutton sent by Michelle Keller of Seattle.
The package contained a total of 40 tablets which included a sleep aid, Adderral and Clonazepam. The pills were in a prescription bottle under someone else’s name.
Adderall, an amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to drugs.com.
Clonazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is prescribed to control seizures and panic disorders and is in the same drug family as Valium, Xanax and Ativan.
Surber states in the affidavit that he replaced the pills with candy, sealed the box and allowed Sutton to pick up the package.
It appeared Sutton opened the box and put it in the back of his sport utility vehicle, Surber’s affidavit states. Sutton was then pulled over on Airport Road by Sgt. Paul Bostick of the Stillwater Police Department.
Sutton admitted he obtained the drugs illegally, according to the Surber affidavit.
He told authorities he had been obtaining medications from Keller for nearly a year after meeting her an at inpatient rehabilitation program. He said he also obtained medications from Eliyuha Weintraub of New York, whom he also met in rehab, the document states.
He claimed Keller sent him Clonazepam and the sleep aid to help him sleep and the Adderral to help him quit drugs. Sutton said he sent Keller and Weintraub cash several times through Federal Express and wire transfers.
Other evidence in the case will include text messages between Sutton and Keller in which they allegedly discuss the drug shipment, the affidavit states.
Sutton was “profusely sweating” when Surber said he met with him at the Stillwater Jail early Friday morning, it states.
“Sutton told me he was feeling symptoms of withdrawal and was going to ‘tough it out.’ I told Sutton to contact the detention officers if he felt ill,” Surber states in the affidavit.
Surber later found out that Sutton had been vomiting and having more withdrawal symptoms. Staff at the jail were concerned about his health, he said.
Woodward said that Washington and New York authorities are assisting in the investigation.
“He may face an additional charge or charges of obtaining (drugs) by fraud dating back to those August multiple visits … to doctors, and failing to disclose to those doctors that he was seeing other physicians,” Woodward said.
From 1990-92, Sutton was a point guard on OSU teams coached by his father, Eddie Sutton. For 13 seasons, the younger Sutton served as an assistant on Eddie Sutton’s staff.
Sean Sutton was promoted to the head-coaching position in May 2006. After two seasons, during which the Cowboys were 39-29 with two National Invitation Tournament first-round defeats, Sutton and OSU athletic director Mike Holder agreed that Sutton would resign.
With three years remaining on his contract, Sutton collected a net settlement of $1,359,673.58 from OSU. He lives in Stillwater with his wife and two sons.
In 2006, Eddie Sutton was involved in an auto accident in Stillwater. Payne County court documents revealed that at the time of the accident, his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.
Eddie Sutton pleaded no contest to aggravated drunken driving, driving left of center and speeding. He was placed on probation for one year, and the incident led to his retirement from the head-coaching position.
The news of Sutton’s arrest came as a shock to OSU students.
“If it had been alcohol, I wouldn’t have been awestruck. But drugs? That’s kind of weird,” said sophomore Lucas Dewell.
Freshman Roy Dayan was taken aback as well and recalled that as an employee at Saied’s in Tulsa, he once sold Sean Sutton a piano.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Dayan said.