Authorities: 22 People Charged In Meth Trafficking Operation From Mexico To OKC

Friday, November 2nd 2012, 5:28 pm

Federal prosecutors charge 22 people in what they say is a major meth trafficking operation running from Mexico to Oklahoma City.

Ninety federal and local law enforcement officers swarmed the state Thursday, arresting all, but three of those people. Also Thursday, an indictment was unsealed revealing details about the investigation.

It alleges that from early 2011 until August 2012 the defendants tried to sell 85 pounds of meth.

Prosecutors say a car wash on S.W. 59th Street was the heart of the Oklahoma City operation.

"I noticed they were a very successful car wash, they were very, very busy," said Mike Moore who runs Doc's Vapor right across the street.

Moore, like most folks in the area, knew something was going on.

"I've never seen anyone wash seats, that's kind of a new thing. They would take seats out of every car,"Moore said.

According to the federal Indictment, the ring leader was Iran Juan Zamarripa, who was indicted in mid-October. prosecutors say he obtained the methamphetamine in Sinaloa, Mexico, then shipped multi pound quantities to Oklahoma City using semi-truck drivers.

The 22 people charged Thursday then would sell the drugs.

Using cell phone taps and surveillance, officers tracked the comings and goings from the car wash for most of the summer.

On August 10, agents served a search warrant on a residence on Rockwell and found more than 66 pounds of meth and $323,000 wrapped in dryer sheets and duct tape.

Then in late September, those in this neighborhood say agents swarmed the car wash.

The case was investigated by the Safe Streets task force, which includes officers from the FBI, Oklahoma City Police Department, Midwest City Police Department, and Homeland security.