Gang Uses Tulsa Motel As Crime Base; Release Names Of 6 Arrested
TULSA, Oklahoma - Six people are in jail after Tulsa police and FBI agents raided an east Tulsa motel they said was being used by a gang as a crime base.
People staying in the motel Wednesday night said they walked out of their rooms and the first thing they saw were snipers on the roof, then police officers and FBI agents everywhere.
One woman said she and her boyfriend went to have a night alone at the Tonight Inn and had only checked in a couple of hours before the raid.
Woman: "They're banging on our door, asking, I guess they had everybody come out. They had us handcuffed, you known, just to make sure nobody...warrant, there was a warrant sweep - a gun sweep a drug sweep."
Lori: "They looked in every room, right?"
Woman: "Every room."
The FBI and Tulsa's Special Investigations division has been working on the case for some time and got a federal search warrant for the entire property, including every one of the 23 rooms and the office.
Their target was gang members and associates committing crimes out of the motel. They said there were so many officers because of the high-risk nature of the bust.
"When I got out there, had all kinds of weapons pointed at me," one man said.
He’s lived at the motel for 13 years and said he has seen officers come and make a few arrests from time to time, but nothing like Wednesday’s operation.
He too was handcuffed, put on a bus, questioned then released.
"I was afraid they were going to take me in, but they just questioned us and, in the meantime, while doing that, they were tearing up all these rooms to find whatever they were looking for," he said.
Police say they found a meth lab, a gun with ammo, $60,000 in cash, meth, marijuana, cocaine and evidence of prostitution and paraphernalia.
They took six people to jail - Vysean Embry, Jermaine Mayes, Sam Cook, Walter Crawley, Evan Williams and Arijonna Newsome. They said all six of them were affiliated with a gang, but they don't want to say which one just yet.
The owner and the manager and his wife were not arrested at this time.
Police said they do expect to make more arrests in the future.
"It was just a crazy night. You don't see anything like that unless it's on TV," one woman said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said they can't say any more right now, but do expect more to be released in the weeks and months ahead.