UNDATED—Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers busted a large scale Mexican methamphetamine distribution ring in several Oklahoma towns Tuesday morning, Mark Woodward said.
Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, said officers served 18 arrest warrants and 13 search warrants starting around 6:30 Tuesday morning.
The warrants were served in Elk City, Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Norman, Mustang, and Tulsa. Officers found two pounds of meth, one pound of cocaine, and $20,000 cash.
The arrests come after a year-long investigation involving OBN, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the District 2 Drug Task Force.
Woodward said the investigation targeted a major Mexican drug cartel that smuggled large amounts of crystal meth across the Arizona border for sale in Oklahoma. He said the group used fake passports to frequently travel to Mexico.
Darrell Weaver, OBN Director, said the defendants used wire transfers to send their money from the trade back to Mexico to buy land. Weaver said its one of the most disturbing cases he's observed.
"We have evidence that the leader of this drug trafficking cell group was directed by the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel to relocate from Arizona to Oklahoma in fear of the new immigration law there, and set up a methamphetamine drug ring here which delivered approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine per week," Weaver said.
The defendants names have not been released but Woodward said they face several state and federal charges, including Conspiracy to Traffic Controlled Dangerous Substances, a charge that carries a penalty of four years to life in prison.