By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
UNDATED -- It was a rude awakening for dozens of suspected drug dealers early Monday morning. State, local and federal officers conducted a huge raid in Delaware and Ottawa Counties.
News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright was the only Tulsa reporter on the raids.
Operation War Dog began well before dawn with dozens of officers armed with 71 arrest warrants. 62 of them, officers say bought or sold drugs to an undercover officer and it was caught on tape.
When the skies were dark and the streets silent, officers were walking with a purpose -- to find and arrest suspected drug dealers.
The arrests are the final step in an operation that started in May when members of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics' Mobile Operations Team came here to do drug buys. And buy drugs they did. Now, they are arresting the 70 people who didn't know their customer was actually an undercover agent.
"Most of the drugs have already been sent to the lab, so we know exactly what drugs they are. They're going to be good cases," said Eddie Wyant, Delaware and Ottawa Counties DA.
Officers say there are two types of dealers being arrested. Those who are doing it purely for profit, who officers say need to go to prison, and those who are feeding their own addictions, who might benefit from a second chance to get clean.
"Over 50 percent of these arrests involve a prescription drug issue," said Darrell Weaver, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
The suspected drug dealers range from baby-faced 18-year-olds to men in their 50's and 60's. They're accused of selling $30 of pot all the way to thousands in meth and prescription drugs.
Agents say one house was a perfect example of why they're doing this -- because children should be able to get on the school bus without a suspected drug dealer living on the corner.
Officers plan to keep going after small-time and big-time dealers, in order to make their families and ours, feel safer.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is holding a town hall meeting on substance abuse. The meeting will be 7:00 p.m. on October 7th at the Grove Civic Center, 1720 South Main Street in Grove, Oklahoma. The meeting will serve as a public forum to discuss drug enforcement, prevention and treatment issues within communities and schools.