CHICKASHA — Artemio Reyes-Pina lived the life of a farmer on a 15-acre spread near Blanchard, but investigators said they saw beyond the horses and chickens.
They said they saw a major drug dealer.
Reyes-Pina, 54, was arrested on his farm Feb. 17 by Grady County sheriff’s deputies and federal drug agents, who helped dismantle a drug-trafficking ring that yielded 18 arrests, $300,000 in cash and more than $100,000 worth of stolen property.
"He told us he farmed, but he had a brand-new Jaguar and a BMW that were both paid for,” Grady County Sheriff Art Kell said. "His land was paid for, and his house was paid for, and he had lots of cash on hand.
"I’m a farmer, too. But it took me 20 years of hard work just to build me a home.”
Reyes-Pina has since been charged with six felony counts, including trafficking of illegal drugs and unlawful possession with intent to distribute. Reyes-Pina could face life in prison if convicted on either count.
Grady County Assistant District Attorney Lesley March said Reyes-Pina had been receiving large shipments of cocaine and methamphetamine from a Mexican drug cartel.
He did so by blending into the rural landscape, March said.
"The shipments came in five-gallon, plastic buckets that were tightly taped,” said March, who explained how Reyes-Pina would store plastic bags of drugs inside a hollow metal fence post for dealers to pick up.
Drugs also were found around the property, including some "in little baggies scattered among the chicken feed,” March said.
Court records show a search of Reyes-Pina’s farm also yielded empty wrappings "commonly used to package pounds of meth and cocaine.” The wrappings tested positive for traces of both drugs.