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Authorities Cracking Down On 'Crank'

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Authorities have unveiled "Operation Crank Down," designed to better prosecute people suspected of running multiple meth laboratories in the Tulsa area.

The first victims of the plan are Mark Lorne Barnes, 29, and seven co-defendants. Barnes is headed to prison for 30 years for directing a methamphetamine conspiracy that produced more than 15 kilograms of the drug during a two-year period. He was sentenced late this week in U.S. District Court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley said the operations will feature greater cooperation among law enforcement officials trying to stop meth -- also called crank -- labs. Raley said the Barnes "organization" operated about 50methamphetamine labs in the Tulsa metropolitan area. The group produced and distributed more than 100 pounds of the drug before being shut down in early 1999, said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Leon Francis.

Also sentenced by U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas Brett were Stanley Allen Arnold, 32, of Enid to 27 years in prison. Tulsan Donald Lester Wise, 41, received 15 years and eight months, and Tulsan James Parrish Pennoyer, 35, got four years and seven months. On Friday, Tulsan Hershel Lee Clark Jr., 26, was sentenced to five years in prison for his part in the conspiracy. Also Friday, Tulsan Christopher Don Bunch, 35, received a10-month term to be split between a halfway house and house arrest.

In September, Bunch and Robert Paul Love, 37, of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to concealing their knowledge of the scheme. Brett sentenced Love to three years of probation Friday, with the first eight months on home detention. Barnes' sister, Kelie Denise Barnes, 21, of Tulsa, also received three years of probation Friday from Brett.

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