Sting Operation Nets Dozens Of Arrests
Wednesday, October 10th 2007, 10:43 pm
By: News On 6
Nearly 50 alleged drug dealers are in custody after a sting operation early Wednesday morning. The News On 6â€™s Chris Wright reports more than 20 agencies have been working together since February on what they are calling Operation Six Killer. Local and federal authorities say the arrests send a strong message to anyone dealing or using drugs in Green Country.
"I'm not saying we're going to end drug trafficking in this area, but I will tell you that the drug trade is much more precarious for those that are involved," said U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling.
Sperling has quietly been coordinating Operation Six Killer since February, building cases against dealers.
Ninety warrants were issued, and officers fanned out early Wednesday morning to make arrests.
"It's an impressive sight to see over 100 law enforcement officers that are in one area early in the morning, ready to do the right thing,â€ said U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling.
Forty-nine of the 90 defendants were taken into custody. Authorities say 32 were found in and around Muskogee. The others were arrested in Okmulgee and Tulsa.
More than 20 agencies took part in the sting, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshal Service and Muskogee County Sheriff's Department. The federal agents were involved because some of the alleged crimes took place on Indian land.
The U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office says some of the dealers were selling around casinos, making it really tough for local law enforcement to do anything about it.
"I think there is a perception that drug traffickers can operate with virtual impunity on casino property, and that's certainly untrue,â€ said U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling.
Dozens of alleged drug dealers will no longer be operating at all.
In one case, three members of the same family were arrested. Renaldo, Reon and Gwendolyn Bell are behind bars, all charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Operation Six Killer is by no means over, either. Authorities are still looking for 41 people. They say they are confident they will find them soon.
Watch the video: Nearly 50 Alleged Drug Dealers Taken Off Streets