LINDSAY — Law enforcement officers arrested 12 people Wednesday in an effort to break up a methamphetamine distribution ring, authorities reported.
Those arrested include: Kenneth Finley, 44; Tina Finley, 41; John Gandy, 54; Phillip Hilderbrandt, 40; Kent Kelly, 37; Justin Nunn, 21; Phillip Michael Riggle, 32; Beth Willingham, 40; Keith Baker, 42; James Cannon, 35; Stephanie Fuller, 39; and Candace Walck, 35. The 12 were arrested on complaints of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Three others were arrested on other drug-related complaints while officers were serving the arrest warrants. They were John Cable, 29; Cherokee Tolles, 21; and Dennis Tobey, 53.
After a 1½-year investigation, officers had arrest warrants for 19 people accused of moving one to two pounds of Mexican crystal methamphetamine a week to local dealers and users, said Mark Woodward, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman.
The Lindsay drug raid began at 6 a.m. and lasted most of Wednesday.
“This certainly is going to have a big impact on drugs in the Lindsay area,” Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said.
This raid is “not a unique circumstance” for rural communities in Oklahoma, Woodward said. Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs agents are currently investigating countless other similar cases in other rural communities.
“It's not as many (drugs) as what is coming in to the Oklahoma City or the Tulsa metro areas but it is still making it in, just enough for those populations,” he said.
Because it is harder to obtain drugs used to make methamphetamine in most of the United States, Mexican methamphetamine is making its way up along with other drugs, Woodward said.
“About 90 to 95 percent of meth in the U.S. is coming from a Mexican source,” he said. “While it is harder to make here, they still have a demand for it because the drug is so addicting.”
Lindsay is about 50 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Those arrested were taken to the Garvin County jail.