The Limestone County Sheriff's Office issued a warning Friday that anyone helping a suspect on the run could face criminal charges.
Mickey Paulk, 35, has been sought by the Sheriff's Office since a search warrant was executed Monday at an apartment on Piney Chapel Road. Narcotics officers believed Paulk was living there, though he was not there at the time.
Officers did find meth, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and body armor, according to Sheriff's Office spokesman and deputy Stephen Young. Arrest warrants for Paulk, who has a lengthy criminal history, were issued on charges of possession of a controlled substance, certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Investigators did arrest an Ardmore man who was at the apartment, 37-year-old Ronnie Reynolds, on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering at a known drug house. He was later released from the Limestone County Jail after posting a $4,000 bond.
Investigators also found a caged squirrel, later identified as Paulk's pet, “DeezNutz.” Young said they were told it was an “attack squirrel” and that Paulk fed meth to it to keep it aggressive. In a video posted to Facebook earlier this week, Paulk denied he ever gave DeezNutz meth and that he had raised the squirrel from a baby.
Investigators later freed the squirrel in some trees near the apartment. Paulk told The Associated Press he went back to the apartment, whistled and DeezNuts came to him. He claimed the squirrel seen in the Facebook video was DeezNutz.
This week, Paulk has given interviews to several media outlets, including The Associated Press and Washington Post. Young said he understands the fascination with the squirrel, but said anyone assisting Paulk in evading capture faces arrest for obstruction of justice or interfering with government operations, or both.
A gofundme account was established Thursday to assist Paulk in taking care of his legal fees. A post by Gail Tucker of Nashville said, “We have safely gotten the squirrel out of Alabama and it is being boarded until his owner's legal issues can be settled.”
The post said Paulk “only wants the best” for DeezNutz. He said he needs help paying for his own legal fees and boarding for the squirrel. The campaign, which has a goal of $25,000, had raised $235 as of noon Friday.