SHAWNEE — In one of the state's largest rural drug busts, law enforcement officers arrested 33 people Wednesday and broke up a narcotics ring that imported methamphetamine by the pound from a Mexican drug cartel, authorities said.
Two of those arrested, Shawnee residents Linda Ellis, 48, and Steve Faulkner, 53, brought in as much as 6 pounds of methamphetamine a week, Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon. Depending on how the drug is cut, it could generate about $10,000 per pound.
About 125 officers from various agencies began serving arrest warrants Wednesday morning for complaints of drug distribution and conspiracy to traffic drugs. About 4 pounds of methamphetamine and $30,000 cash were seized. Most of the warrants were for people in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties. Their names were not released Wednesday.
Local residents watched as officers took people into custody.
“It was an exciting morning,” Bob Fincher said outside his flower shop in Shawnee. Across the street, burly officers pulled people out of a house, handcuffed them and placed them on the ground in the front yard.
“We've seen a lot of activity at that house with a lot of people coming and going. I'm glad something was done,” Fincher said.