Tahlequah, Tulsa Women Plead Guilty To Drug Conspiracy
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that REGINA ANN BALLARD, a/k/a REGINA HUMMINGBIRD, age 37, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and BRENDA AILEEN AIRINGTON, age 54, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, pled guilty in federal court.
BALLARD pled to an Information charging her with Drug Conspiracy, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(C), punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, up to a $1,000,000.00 fine or both.
AIRINGTON pled guilty to Count 1 of a Superseding Indictment charging her with Drug Conspiracy, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, punishable by not less than 10 years imprisonment, up to a $10,000,000.00 fine or both.
The Investigation revealed that Cody McClendon, an Indian Brotherhood (IBH) gang member, a former 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. BALLARD and AIRINGTON were drug couriers 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 pleas and ordered the completion of presentence investigation reports. The defendants will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Henson represented the United States.