Narcotics agents arrest suspected drug cartel member in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control agents said they arrested a suspected Mexican drug cartel leader during a raid Tuesday morning.
BY RON JACKSON •
Modified: June 30, 2010 at 10:10 am •
Published: June 30, 2010
/articleid/3472436/1/pictures/1008695"> Officers are shown outside a Mustang home Tuesday after making entry at dawn as part of a multiagency drug raid that targeted meth operations throughout the state. Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Control officers teamed with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and local law enforcement to execute 13 search warrants and 18 arrest warrants. Photos by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
But Weaver said his agents were able to track "hundreds of thousands of dollars in wire transfers” to Mexico, where the money was being used to buy land.
The narcotics bureau alleges the money was being laundered through a nondescript used car lot in Oklahoma City where people socialized more than they sold cars.
"Our target had a previous conviction for drug possession, and had already been deported once from Arizona,” the undercover agent said. "And still he was trusted to set up an operation in Oklahoma City where he personally moved money. How high up was he? He was one step removed from those on the border who make the orders.
"Now he says he can't cooperate because he has family. He knows he's finished.”
Cindy Cunningham, the agency's chief agent on electronic surveillance intelligence, said the suspect had orders to establish similar operations elsewhere, including Denver and Las Vegas.
Weaver described the case as one of the most troubling of his 23-year drug enforcement career. Agents think Juarez Cartel leaders have been preoccupied by infighting and violence on the border, leaving Oklahoma City open for opportunistic Sinaloa Cartel members.
"We were fortunate to infiltrate this organization within two months of the group setting up shop,” Weaver said. "I believe the Mexican drug cartels are the No. 1 threat to the safety of Oklahomans, and we must be vigilant in our pursuit of these individuals who want to rob everything good we want for our state while making themselves rich.
"This case shows the effects other states' policies can have on the safety of our state.”