Drug Crackdown Leads To Muskogee Arrests
Friday, May 8th 2015, 11:23 am
By: Tess Maune
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and other Oklahoma law enforcement agencies made a sweep of arrests in Muskogee after a year-long investigation called Operation Green Giant.
Muskogee Police, U.S. Marshalls and others took down nearly two dozen crack cocaine dealers off the streets. They say the arrests shut down a major trafficking network.
The OBN says 21 people were arrested out of the 24 warrants served Friday morning in Muskogee.
One of the main suspects is still on the loose, but investigators are actively seeking him, authorities say.
There were no injuries, and agents say the sweep was highly successful. They say they typically only get about half the suspects they're searching for on the first day of a sting, but they arrested almost all on their list.
Daylight was bearing breaking, and already a man was on the front porch in just his boxer shorts and handcuffs.
"This is a dismantlement of an organization that has been doing business in this area now for some time," said Darrell Weaver, Director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics."These are people that want to make their economic gain on the backs of the citizens of this community."
Weaver said investigators were after a ring of 24 drug dealers who have put large amounts of crack cocaine on the streets of Muskogee and nearby communities for years.
"We believe upwards of two pounds per week," he said.
A Muskogee school bus drove to a bus stop that Weaver says is just down the street from where one of the dealers live.
"That's why we continue to fight," Weaver said. "That's why we cannot grow weary.
"It doesn't take a lot to really rope in a young person, so we believe any time we can take this type of quantity off the streets that it has a direct correlation to keeping kids off this type of substance."
Agents say the cocaine was trafficked out of Mexico. It then went into Dallas and Little Rock before ending up in Muskogee, where the police chief says the town has taken a hit by drug addiction.
"In terms of perpetuating poverty, other issues, social issues, it's tremendous what drugs have done," said Muskogee Police Chief Rex Eskridge.
In all, 21 people were arrested Friday, sending a clear message.
"If you're going to do this, you're going to go to jail," Eskridge said.
Police are still looking for three people including one of the ring leaders, Duran Delt. Agents say they're confident the last suspects will be in custody within a few days.