Lengthy Investigation Related To Drug Trafficking Results In Indictment Of Nineteen Defendants | USAO-EDOK

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced today that nineteen defendants have been indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere. Drug Conspiracy is punishable by not less than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $10,000,000 fine or both. Two of the nineteen defendants indicted are also charged with firearm offenses carrying punishment of not more than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine or both. A coordinated law enforcement operation to arrest the defendants charged in the indictment began this morning and is ongoing. A copy of the full indictment can be found online at go.usa.gov/x7kAM

The indictment alleges the defendants conspired to acquire and distribute methamphetamine in Eastern Oklahoma as well as other locations. All nineteen defendants were indicted for Drug Conspiracy with some indicted for other charges related to the conspiracy such as Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.  The indictment alleges the conspiracy began in June 2019. 

The charges arose from a joint investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”), the United States Marshals Service, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (“OBNDD”), the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office, the District 18 District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the Rogers County District Attorney’s Office, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections – Office of the Inspector General, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Tahlequah Police Department, the Muskogee Police Department, the Tulsa Police Department, the Broken Arrow Police Department, the Miami Police Department, the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Norman Police Department, and the Edmond Police Department. The investigation was part of and included members of the DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) Task Force, which includes several of the above mentioned agencies. The United States Marshals Service for the Eastern District of Oklahoma and the Fort Gibson Police Department also played important roles in today’s operation to bring the defendants into custody. 

“Every year hundreds of Oklahomans die as a result of methamphetamine overdose. Each fatal dose travels great distances as they move from producers to high level distributors to street dealers to users. Drug trafficking organizations are only concerned with pushing product and making profits. Death does not concern them. Justice is the only thing that will put an end to this deadly business,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “For 18 months a dedicated team of law enforcement professionals led by the DEA have worked tirelessly to identify and investigate this drug trafficking organization alleged to have been a major supplier of methamphetamine to Muskogee, Cherokee, and Wagoner Counties as well as other parts of Eastern Oklahoma. Last week a grand jury determined there was probable cause to believe these defendants played a role in this drug conspiracy.”

“Through the cooperation of countless law enforcement partners in Oklahoma, DEA Tulsa’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force was able to dismantle one of the most significant and reliable methamphetamine distribution organizations operating in Eastern Oklahoma.” stated Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of DEA operations in Oklahoma. “Annually, this distribution organization was responsible for hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine plaguing our streets.  The DTO was sourced from Transnational Criminal Organizations based in Mexico and distributed throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, and parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.  This investigation has had a devastating effect on this particular organization’s ability to make money though the distribution of illegal drugs and has undoubtedly made a positive impact on Northeastern Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Donnie Anderson said, “Methamphetamine continues to be one of the most destructive drugs on the streets of Oklahoma. And today we aggressively targeted and removed nearly two-dozen defendants, including prison gang members, who were operating a pipeline of methamphetamine into eastern Oklahoma. My agency is committed to working with our local, state and federal partners to dismantle these drug distribution networks that threaten the safety of our citizens.”

Defendants indicted are Eric Ysidro Castillo, age 45, of Cushing, Oklahoma; Blanche Elizabeth Dyer a/k/a Blanche Elizabeth Jackson, age 35, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Mark Lewis Crowell a/k/a Carl Crowell, age 24, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Anita Lorene Cooper, age 47, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Angela Marie McDaniel a/k/a Angela Marie Williams, age 47, of Joplin, Missouri; Michael Otis Hunsaker Jr., age 38, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Jason Don Rowan, age 37, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Clint England Cooper, age 34, of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; Scott James Lively, age 50, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Richard Dean Mealer, age 66, of Okay, Oklahoma; Jessica Lynn Baker, age 40, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Bobbi Dawn Benefield, age 38, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Mark Robert Pierce, age 54, of Braggs, Oklahoma; Mark Wayne Stubblefield, age 35, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Cara Dawn Nicole O’ Laughlin a/k/a Cara Dawn Nicole Martin, age 33, of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; Jarrod Lee Shanks, age 41, of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma; Amanda Joyce King, age 36, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; Joseph Michael Phillips, age 40, of Muskogee, Oklahoma; and Everett Wayne Hood Jr. a/k/a E.J. Hood, age 29, of Muskogee, Oklahoma.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. The OCDETF program is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illicit drug supply.

A grand jury Indictment does not constitute evidence of guilt.  A grand jury Indictment is a method of bringing formal charges against the defendant.  A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and may not be found guilty unless evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source link

Author: Editor
The website is owned by STL.News, LLC. However, the website is hosted, designed, and maintained by WebTech Group, a web host, and design agency based in St. Louis, Missouri. USDOJ.Today focuses on aggregating content from the US Attorney's Offices around the country. STL.News uses this content to publish national news at https://STL.News