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GPS program’s failure was rare, Oklahoma officials say

BY NOLAN CLAY Published: March 7, 2010
Early last year, convicted drug dealer Ricky Fitzgerald Reese was sent to state prison to serve a five-year sentence for selling crack cocaine near an Oklahoma City high school.

He stayed 10 months.

In late November, prison officials put an ankle monitor on him and let him loose. By February, prosecutors allege, he was selling drugs again — even as corrections officials were supposedly monitoring him by global positioning satellites.

Such failures in the Oklahoma Corrections Department GPS program are rare, officials say.

"They’ve had a pretty good success rate with it,” said Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie. "In fiscal year 2009, we had a 92 percent successful completion rate of the 888 that were placed on it during that fiscal year.”

Almost 450 nonviolent inmates are now in the early-release program that was controversial when it began in 2004. Corrections officers keep track of inmates by the ankle monitors. They also are supposed to make monthly home visits.

Reese’s next home visit was set for March 10.

Oklahoma City police arrested Reese on Feb. 10, two days after he allegedly sold a police informant crystal methamphetamine for $40 from a house in south Oklahoma City. Reese, 40, has about a dozen aliases including Ronald Fitzgerald Rice, prosecutors say.

Police searched the house after the alleged drug purchase. In his bedroom, police found a .45-caliber pistol and, between the mattresses of his bed, a semi-automatic rifle, court records show.

Police reported they also seized methamphetamine, cocaine, ammunition, digital scales and a Corrections Department notice about the next home visit.

The informant told police that she has never known Reese to be out of methamphetamine, police reported.

Reese denied the drugs were his. has disabled the comments for this article.


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