TULSA, Oklahoma -- The U.S. Attorney Scott Woodward for Northern Oklahoma announced a federal grand jury indictment was unsealed Tuesday charging a 20-year-old Detroit, Michigan man with operating a major marijuana trafficking operation from Phoenix, Arizona, to Detroit, Michigan.
Woodward says Kelly Hill utilized I-44 running through Oklahoma.
Hill is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with intent to Distribute and Distribution of over 100 Kilograms of Marijuana.
In a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office, a criminal drug trafficking organization allegedly led by Hill is allegedly responsible for the importation of large amounts of marijuana in hundreds of pounds and kilogram quantities, from sources in Phoenix into the Detroit area, between November 2008 and December 2009.
Woodward says the defendant allegedly recruited drug couriers, often called "mules," to transport marijuana and large amounts of cash in rental vehicles, commercial buses and airlines.
The conspiracy first came to the attention of law enforcement in Oklahoma on March 5, 2009, when two of the alleged couriers were stopped by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper on I-44near Stroud and a subsequent search of the 2008 Chrysler minivan yielded $198,980 in cash.
Another load of 565 pounds of marijuana was brought through Oklahoma on the Turner Turnpike in a rental van in June 2009, resulting in the arrest and federal prosecution of two alleged members of Hill's drug trafficking organization.
This case is being investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in the Northern District of Oklahoma and law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Michigan.