Transnational Drug Trafficking Organization Ringleader Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy and Related Charges
TULSA, Okla.—The ringleader of a Tulsa-based drug trafficking organization pleaded guilty today to drug conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, and conspiracy to sponsor and exhibit an animal in an animal fighting venture, announced U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma. United States District Judge John E. Dowdell presided over the change of plea hearing.
Donald Walters, 35, of Tulsa, was charged in a sixth superseding indictment on August 13, 2014. Walters was charged along with 50 co-defendants who were members and associates of the Hoover Crips Street Gang and the Donald Walters Drug Trafficking Organization in the 241 criminal count indictment. Since the indictment, 32 defendants have pleaded guilty.
According to the plea agreement, Walters admitted that he purchased cocaine and arranged to have it cooked into crack cocaine at drug houses operated by conspirators. The drugs were then sold throughout Tulsa. Walters frequently used telephones to facilitate the drug conspiracy, and he and co-conspirators used coded terms in order to keep the conspiracy a secret. Walters further admitted that he was the leader and organizer of a continuing criminal enterprise with at least five co-conspirators. In addition, from 2011 to 2014, Walters sold, trained, raised, and transported dogs to fight and travelled out of state to fight.
The drugs came from Mexican cartels and were transported through Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa as they moved toward Ohio and the northeastern United States.
During the investigation of Operation Battlefield, law enforcement discovered that the Hoover Crips and Walters DTO brought approximately $10,000,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana through Tulsa over a three-year period.
At sentencing, Walters faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life and a fine of up to $20,000,000. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the parties have agreed to a prison sentence of 30 years, subject to the court’s acceptance of the plea agreement at sentencing. In addition to the prison sentence, he will forfeit seized criminal proceeds, facilitating real property and vehicle, and a $10,000,000 criminal forfeiture judgment representing proceeds of the drug conspiracy.
The charges were the result of a three-year U.S. Attorney’s Office, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, led by the Tulsa Police Department’s Homicide and Special Investigation Divisions and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office; the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office; the Broken Arrow Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; and the Norman Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Allen J. Litchfield, Robert T. Raley, Eric O. Johnston, Andrew J. Hofland, and Catherine Depew prosecuted the case.