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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2007
Contact: Terri K. Wyatt
Special Agent/PIO

214-366-6900

Mexican Meth Distribution Network Dismantled

APR 18 -- MCALESTER, OK --- Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), McAlester Resident Office, assisted by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), and the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force 18 successfully halted an organization distributing large quantities of Mexican methamphetamine in Eastern and Southeastern Oklahoma. Dozens of federal, state, and local officers began serving 34 arrest warrants early this morning at locations in Pittsburg, Hughes and Atoka counties, as well as, Dallas, Texas, as part of an investigation that began over a year ago.

This investigation, a spin-off from a case worked in 2006, targeted numerous individuals who would arrange for methamphetamine from Mexico to be trafficked into Oklahoma and distributed on the streets in several communities. Since 2004, when the State of Oklahoma passed a landmark pseudoephedrine control law, local methamphetamine labs have been drastically reduced. Methamphetamine users have to rely more on Mexican drug organizations to funnel the drug into Oklahoma. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are now turning resources and attention toward the individuals heading up these organizations.

It was not uncommon for this organization to order and distribute between two and ten pounds of methamphetamine weekly. The 34 defendants in this case face federal and state charges of methamphetamine distribution and money laundering.

James L. Capra, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA’s Dallas Field Division, firmly believes that these cooperative efforts send a powerful message to those trying to profit from illicit drug sales in Oklahoma. “Today, we have come together with many of our law enforcement partners to achieve a common goal. The dismantling of this Mexican methamphetamine distribution network is a major success in its own right. The far bigger success however, is that we have sent a profound message to any and all remaining drug dealers; that the law enforcement partnerships are solid, strong, and willing to go the distance to make our communities safe for our citizens.”

R Darrell Weaver, Director of the OBN, agreed with SAC Capra. Director Weaver said Oklahoma law enforcement will continue working together with an aggressive, proactive approach to unplug Mexican drug networks. "We will not secede any communities to drug traffickers and drug conspirators in Oklahoma. We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all law enforcement to combat this evil that can destroy the good we all stand for in our State. We have homeland security issues that we are all concerned about, but I submit that we also have hometown security issues that we must address. These hometown terrorists take names such as crack cocaine and methamphetamine or “ice”, and our state must have much resolve when dealing with these unwanted, destructive elements."

Assisting with the arrest warrants this morning were the DEA, the OBN, the US Attorney’s Office for Eastern Oklahoma, the District 18 and 22 District Attorney’s Drug Task Forces, the McAlester Police Department, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Support was also provided by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma National Guard.

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