Mexican Drug Cartel Distribution Ring Dismantled
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A large-scale Mexican methamphetamine distribution ring was dismantled Tuesday, according to Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Spokesman Mark Woodward.
Woodward said the year-long joint investigation targeted a major Mexican drug cartel that smuggled meth across the Arizona border into Oklahoma for sale and would used fake passports to go between the U.S. and Mexico. OBN Director Darrell Weaver says this is one of the most troubling cases he's observed in his 23 years as a drug enforcer.
"We have evidence that the leader of this drug trafficking cell group was directed by the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel to relocate from Arizona to Oklahoma in fear of the new immigration law there, and set up a methamphetamine drug ring here which delivered approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine per week," Weaver said. "The defendants were using wire transfers to send their proceeds from their illicit trade back to Mexico to purchase land. We were fortunate to infiltrate this organization within two months of the group setting up shop. I believe the Mexican drug cartels are the number one threat to the safety of Oklahomans' and we must be vigilant in our pursuit of these individuals who want to rob everything good we want for our state while making themselves monetarily rich."
Woodward says this morning law enforcement officers served 18 arrest warrants and 13 search warrants in Elk City, Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Norman, Yukon, Mustang and Tulsa.
"ICE partners with many law enforcement agencies to target anyone who smuggles illegal drugs such as methamphetamine," said John Chakwin Jr., special agent in charge of the ICE office in Dallas. "By pooling our expertise and law enforcement authorities, we can be especially effective at identifying, investigating, and ultimately prosecuting these drug smugglers."
Agents recovered two pounds of meth, one pound of cocaine and $20,000 cash during the search warrants.
The identities of the arrested are being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.