BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Broken Arrow police have arrested a youth wrestling coach suspected of selling methamphetamine.
Arrested on Tuesday night, Eric Paul Hopkins, 31, faces charges of possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and two charges related to the use or possession of video surveillance equipment.
Police say they were on their way to serve a search warrant on his residence on the 4100 block of S. Ash Place when they confronted Hopkins, whom they saw with his two small children leaving a convenience store on S. Elm Place.
After detaining him, they found five grams of suspected methamphetamine in his pants pocket.
A search of his residence turned up "numerous methamphetamine pipes as well as numerous baggies" and three firearms, according to the police report. Furthermore, officials found the home equipped with a surveillance system with monitors in the garage and master bedroom.
Detectives also found baggies and a set of digital scales in his vehicle.
John Cockrell with the Broken Arrow Takedown Club where Hopkins had been coach said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon he is "extremely saddened disappointed and angry about this unfortunate situation."
Cockrell said in the previous two years he has never had a problem with Hopkins, who had his two children in the program, and said that this year would have been Hopkins' third year in youth wrestling.
"Effective immediately, Eric is no longer and will never be a part of the club," he said.
In the statement, Cockrell said the club conducts background checks on all of its coaches and that this apparently was Hopkins' first offense.
He added that coaches are expected to be role models and to create a safe learning environment for the youth.
"I am now unfortunately challenged with the task of channeling this situation into a learning experience for our youth wrestlers," he said. "I will meet with coaches, parents, and wrestlers to explain the severity of this issue and the consequences that follow from poor decision making. With that, hopefully it will turn a negative situation into a positive one."
Hopkins' bond has been set to $25,000. Hopkins is due back in court on Nov. 30.