OBN Pursuit To Dismantle Ponca City Meth Ring
PONCA CITY, Oklahoma - Authorities called it a "multi-pound" meth ring that existed in Kay County and Friday it was dismantled.
After eleven months of wiretapping and surveillance, police went on pursuit for 18 suspects. And our News 9's Justin Dougherty was along for the ride with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
OBN officers told News 9 that while homegrown meth labs are starting to dry up, it's not stopping the major meth problem that cripples much of the state. Dealers are now importing from the Mexican drug cartel and buying what's called “Mexican Ice”.
Strapped with firearms and eyes in the sky, the chase was on to capture 18 criminals.
Police suspected each one being a part of what's described as a smart, slippery and multi-pound meth ring importing Mexican Ice into Kay County.
And while some were just empty houses police never let up.
Especially, on suspect Adam Rhea.
At first Rhea wasn't home at his apartment, until one officer saw Rhea drive right past the apartment complex.
Rhea ended up in the back parking lot, where officers greeted him with handcuffs.
The last suspect gave police a little more of a chase.
When teams first checked Jerry Payne's home there was only silence. So, officers decided to leave the area.
Just minutes later, a tip came saying Payne had just left his home in a gray sedan.
The convoy took off and the chopper watched above.
Officers cut off the car in traffic, and found out Payne had just been dropped off at a nearby home.
Several people came out of the home, each one said Payne wasn't there. But authorities stayed persistent and out walked Payne, the seventh arrest in the ring.
And a reminder OBN Director Darrel Weaver wants all criminals to know, "Like always they can run but they simply cannot hide,"
At the end of their enforcement actions authorities arrested five out of their main nine targets, And as Director Weaver said this is not just a disruption, but a dismantle.
Friday's operation was a multi-agency task including OBN, Ponca City Police, Kay County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Task Force.