Twelve Individuals Indicted In Drug Conspiracy
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Waylon Lee Williams, age 37, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Chassidy Dawn Burke, age 36, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Jesse Ryan Catron, age 37, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Evonnie Marie Simmons, age 38, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Josh Caleb Simmons, age 38, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Amber Rae Kirk, age 36, of Lincoln, Arkansas; Carl Alvin Cushing, age 59, of Westville, Oklahoma; Megan Charise Watkins, age 26, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Kris Lee Hall, age 40, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Sharon Eloise Davis, age 51, of Bunch, Oklahoma; Brianna Lillian Smith, age 47, of Westville, Oklahoma; and Donnie Dean Burke, age 34, of Westville, Oklahoma were each indicted for Drug Conspiracy, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, punishable by not less than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $10,000,000 fine or both.
Waylon Lee Williams and Chassidy Dawn Burke had previously been indicted on February 18, 2018 for Possession With Intent To Distribute Methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B), punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $1,000,000 fine or both. The original indictment alleged that on or about July 28, 2017, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Williams and Burke knowingly and intentionally possessed with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable quantity of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
In March, the Grand Jury returned an indictment which superseded the original indictment (the “Superseding Indictment”). The Superseding Indictment alleges that Williams, Burke, Catron, Evonnie Simmons, Josh Simmons, Kirk, Cushing, Watkins, Hall, Davis, Smith, and Donnie Dean Burke, beginning on a date in 2014, the exact date being unknown to the Grand Jury, and continuing until on or about January 29, 2018, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed together, and with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit offenses against the United States.
The charges arose as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (“OBN”), the National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the District 27 District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the Stilwell Police Department, the Broken Arrow Police Department, and the Tulsa Police Department.
United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “As we all know, methamphetamine is destructive to individuals, families, and communities, and the cost to society is beyond measure. Attacking a serious problem requires a serious commitment. The agencies that participated in this investigation gave the citizens of Adair County and Eastern Oklahoma that commitment. The agents worked thousands of hours and sacrificed their nights and weekends, and missed family gatherings for the sake of completing a professional, thorough investigation into the drug trade in and around Adair County, Oklahoma. The lead agents, who are with the DEA and OBN, worked closely with members of the United States Attorney’s Office and were assisted by prosecutors in the District 27 District Attorney’s Office. The teamwork that was involved throughout this investigation from beginning to end is an example of how federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies should work together for the benefit of the public we all serve.”
DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard W. Salter Jr. said, “The DEA is committed to protecting the communities, families and especially the children of Oklahoma from the scourge of methamphetamine and all addictive drugs that continue to threaten our communities, harm our families and especially the children of Oklahoma. Working together with our State, Local and Tribal law enforcement partners is the best weapon we have to combat these criminal organizations, and this case is a notable example of that cooperation and collaboration. Today we celebrate a brief victory and tomorrow we get back to work.”
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control Director John Scully said, “The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is proud to be a participating partner in the dismantling of this drug trafficking organization. This criminal organization was a significant source for the illegal distribution of methamphetamine, and associated crimes, that have plagued many communities for too long. This cooperative effort by law enforcement is one of many examples of the dedication of our law enforcement agencies working together to improve the quality of life for our citizens. This cooperative effort serves as a force multiplier for all law enforcement and continues to be the model we strive for in combating the criminal element that wishes to destroy lives, families and communities.”
District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp said, “Rural Oklahoma communities have been hit hard by methamphetamine. Long term, multi-agency investigations, targeted at suppliers of methamphetamine, are extremely important to our local efforts to protect the public. An investigation of this magnitude would not be possible without the participation of all the agencies involved. I am proud to have been a part of this effort and know that the citizens of Adair County and the surrounding area appreciate the resources devoted to fighting against the sale of methamphetamine.”
A grand jury Indictment does not constitute evidence of guilt. A grand jury Indictment is a method of bringing formal charges against the defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and may not be found guilty unless evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.