Drug Trafficking Suspects Arrested
MAY 14 A special team of Drug Enforcement Administration agents from Dallas helped arrest more than 30 methamphetamine trafficking suspects in Oklahoma and Arkansas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004.
The early-morning roundup stems from a six-month investigation in which the DEA team, assisted by state and federal authorities from Oklahoma and Arkansas, worked undercover to arrest major drug distributors.
“This is another example of how the public and their communities benefit from the combined resources of the combined resources of area law enforcement,” said Gary Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Dallas division. “The citizens are able to see tangible results that make their communities safer.”
More than 100 law enforcement officers, beginning at 4a.m., conducted simultaneous raids to serve federal arrest warrants on people suspected of trafficking methamphetamine.
The investigation dubbed “Hot B” by the officers and agents, started when Pocola, Oklahoma, police began suspecting that major methamphetamine distributors were using Choctaw Gaming Center in eastern Oklahoma as a base of operations.
“These drug traffickers were using the Indian tribal land as a method of escaping state law enforcement,” LeFlore County District Attorney Rob Wallace said in a prepared statement. “Federal authorities’ help was needed to provide jurisdiction to investigate the drug ring,” Mr. Wallace said.
The DEA’s Dallas division, which covers northern and eastern Texas and all of Oklahoma, deployed a Mobile Enforcement Team in November 2003 to help other federal agencies, including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, investigate the case.
For this operation, the DEA agents bought record amounts of methamphetamine, Mr. Wallace said. The investigation also led to drug arrests in Fort Coffee, Okla., and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The case will be tried in state and federal courts in Arkansas and Oklahoma.