A man whose illicit drug operation resulted in one of the largest fentanyl seizures in the Northern District of Oklahoma pleaded guilty in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Raul Plata-Cibrian, 25, a Mexican National illegally residing in United States, pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.
“In the last year, the illicit sale of deadly fentanyl has dramatically increased in the Northern District of Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Drug traffickers are pushing this poison in our communities without regard to the human toll it exacts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to target individuals, from high-level fentanyl traffickers to street level dealers, and hold them accountable for spreading addiction and causing death throughout northeastern Oklahoma.”
“Fentanyl and other illicit drugs are not victimless crimes,” said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin. “They have always been an overwhelming contributor to today’s problems to include homelessness, property crimes, and violent crimes. Drugs are the one constant present in crime, and it is overlooked and accepted by many. The Tulsa Police Department, United States Attorney’s Office, and the DEA will continue to focus our efforts on the root cause of crime.”
“This guilty plea sends a message to drug traffickers that those who endanger innocent lives by pushing fentanyl will not be tolerated,” said Eduardo A. Chávez, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division, who oversees operations in Oklahoma. “Drugs and those who distribute these poisons have no place in our neighborhoods. The DEA will never waver in our resolve to identify and hold those responsible for their actions.”
Investigators with the Tula Police Department began tracking Plata-Cibrian in July 2022. They noted that Plata-Cibrain would drive to various parking lots throughout Tulsa in a matter of hours and that he would repeat the driving behavior daily. Investigators knew the defendant’s behavior to be indicative of drug trafficking and eventually executed a search warrant of the trafficker’s residence on Aug. 2, 2022.
During the search, officers located approximately 3,530 grams of fentanyl powder, 1,343 grams of fentanyl pills, 2,732 grams of methamphetamine, 498 grams of cocaine, and 146 grams of black tar heroin. They further located six cellphones, digital scales, a .380 caliber pistol, associated ammunition, and almost $7,000 in cash.
Plata-Cibrian is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and will be sentenced at a later date.
The Tulsa Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn A. McCormick is prosecuting the case.