Police Say Tulsa Streets Safer After Marijuana Drug Bust
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa's Organized Gang Unit recovered 22 pounds of marijuana and more than $300,000 in cash Tuesday. They say it belonged to a man they think is a major player in the city's marijuana trade.
They say Austin Hingey had close to $110,000 worth of marijuana spread out over three separate locations, but police say it's what he was doing out of a small home in the 300 block of South Trenton Avenue that caught their attention.
Investigators say Hingey was using the home as his base to sell marijuana. Inside they found marijuana brownies, butter, and candy. They also found a few thousand dollars in cash.
The big haul, police say, was at a storage facility where they accuse Hingey of stashing his stash, 22 pounds worth of marijuana was found there, as well as close to $332,000 in cash.
Police say the marijuana was shipped to Hingey from California and has a street value of $5,000 a pound.
"For him to have 22 pounds and that amount of cash, he's definitely a large scale player," said Sergeant Sean Larkin with the Tulsa Police.
Larkin says Hingey actually lives in a home on South Richmond where investigators found more cash.
"I want them to know that he is a very decent person," said neighbor Tamara Kittrell.
Kittrell lives down the street from Hingey. She says he was a nice guy and good neighbor who would often hand out vegetables from his garden and take in stray dogs.
"He knows I have heart problems. He checks on me, he checks on everybody," Kittrell said. "He's kind, considerate, calls me, 'Yes, ma'am.'"
Kittrell is upset that police would target Hingey, she thinks marijuana should be legalized in Oklahoma.
Investigators say it doesn't matter if people think it should be legal, right now it's not, and police say Tulsa is safer with Hingey off the streets.
"A lot of people say, 'You know, marijuana is not a dangerous drug. There's not violence.' But every single year we have homicides and shootings that occur here in Tulsa where somebody is trying to rob somebody for marijuana or a drug deal gone bad over marijuana," Larkin said.
Police also found a pound and-a-half of psychedelic mushrooms.
Police are not releasing the name of the storage facility.