The roughly 7,000 inmates doing time for selling, growing or distributing drugs are serving an average sentence of 11.9 years in Oklahoma prisons.
Sentencing figures provided by the state Corrections Department show that Noble County — with an average term of 21 years — locks its drug offenders up for the longest stretches.
While the average sentence length is relatively long, at one-hundredth of a percent of the total population, Noble County has one of the lower incarceration rates in Oklahoma, based on the latest U.S. Census data and head-count reports from the state's prison system.
Craig County actually has the highest average prison term in the state for drug offenders, according to the data. One man there was sentenced to 250 years for drug offenses, rape, oral sodomy and escaping from prison.
With Allen Sharbutt's massive prison sentence included in the small group from Craig County, the average prison sentence in that county is 25.8 years.
Atoka, Delaware, Johnston and Roger Mills counties each had average prison terms of 15 years or longer, according to prison records.
Counties with the fewest inmates in state prisons on drug charges typically had lower average sentences for those crimes, with the exception of Roger Mills and Noble counties.
Drug offenders whose cases were adjudicated in Major and Alfalfa counties had average prison terms of three years, although only three inmates represented those counties. Cherokee County, which has only 14 inmates in state custody on drug charges, had an average prison sentence of five years.
Among the state's two largest urban centers, inmates serving time by way of Oklahoma County are sentenced to an average of 13.2 years in prison. In Tulsa County, the average prison sentence for drug charges is 11.2 years.
Incarceration rates for drug offenders in the state's two largest counties are nearly identical, figures show, with Tulsa County's coming in slightly lower.
And when comparing counties of 100,000 or more, Cleveland County had the lowest average sentence for drug offenders at 9.1 years. The county's population is 255,755.
There are 6,085 men in prison for drug offenses, compared with 999 women. Men are sentenced to more time in Oklahoma — an average of 12.2 years — than women, whose terms average 9.7 years, prison records show.
Drug offenders of both genders, who number 7,084 in Oklahoma lockups, make up 27.4 percent of the inmate population, according to Corrections Department figures. There are 25,477 inmates, male and female, in the state's prisons.
Prison sentences are typically recommended by a jury and approved by a judge, unless a plea deal is reached between prosecutors and defense attorneys.