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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stilwell Woman Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy

Worked With Indian Brotherhood Member From McAlester Prison

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that, AMBER CLAPHAN, age 33, of Stilwell, Oklahoma, pled guilty to Drug Conspiracy, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A):

The Superseding Indictment filed on March 8, 2016, alleges that from in or about the end of 2013 and continuing until on or about January 27, 2016, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, did willfully and knowingly combine, conspire, confederate and agree together, and with other persons known and unknown, to Possess with Intent to Distribute and the Distribution of 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of Methamphetamine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance.  

The Investigation revealed that Cody McClendon, an Indian Brotherhood (IBH) gang member, currently an inmate with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in McAlester, Oklahoma was utilizing a contraband cellular phone that he kept hidden on his person and inside his prison cell to facilitate the sale and distribution of methamphetamine. McClendon was doing this by using the cellular phone to communicate with co-conspirators via audio phone calls, text messages, and by communicating on the social media website Facebook.  CLAPHAN was a methamphetamine distributor as well as a drug and money courier for the organization.

The charges arose from a joint investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the Tahlequah Police Department, the Muskogee Police Department, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The investigation was coordinated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) of the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  OCDETF is an initiative led, and coordinated by, the Office of the United States Attorney.

The Honorable Kimberly E. West, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report.  The defendant will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing.

The statutory range of punishment is not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment up to a  $10,000,000.00 fine or both.

Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Henson represented the United States.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Updated May 13, 2016