Social Media Helps Osage County Deputies Net Arrests In Drug Investigation

Wednesday, March 23rd 2016, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

Wednesday, Osage County deputies started rounding up 45 people wanted on marijuana warrants. They said social media helped in the nearly year-long investigation.

All day, teams were going from house to house picking people up. We're told it was the largest one-day warrant roundup yet.

A district judge issued 45 marijuana arrest warrants for conspiracy to deliver marijuana and eight search warrants for dealing with intent to distribute.

Osage Chief Deputy Charlie Cartwright said investigators are still questioning people picked up in the sweep.

"Anytime you have marijuana, methamphetamines, stolen property, other types of crime go hand and hand with that," he said.

For nearly a year, Osage County investigators worked to gather information and evidence. They said, in many of the cases, the suspects outed themselves on social media.

"A lot of this case is based off digital footprints,” Cartwright said. “There's been corroboration of those digital footprints, and the district court felt like there was sufficient probable cause to issue those warrants."

Cartwright said many of those wanted are part of a broader drug scheme that's sending drugs through the mail.

"This has been a cooperative effort between us and federal agencies that has reached as far as the west coast and taken in a mail operation,” he said.

Cartwright said some of those arrested are minor drug users and not part of the larger operation.

Deputies said they've arrested about 75 percent of the people wanted. They say as more arrests are made, the news spreads and people disappear.

The work to arrest the rest of the suspects will continue.