Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 13, 2013

Sweep nets big drug arrests

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — It was described as a dismantling of an organized drug ring tied directly to Mexican cartels when authorities swept through parts of Garvin County on Wednesday morning.

Searching homes and arresting alleged drug offenders were the focus of officers from three law enforcement agencies conducting the organized and highly planned sweep in the western part of the county.

With most of the sweep already completed in the early morning hours, Sheriff Larry Rhodes confirmed three search warrants had been served as part of this investigation, while a number of suspects were arrested.

“We attempted to serve 19 arrest warrants from this lengthy narcotics investigation,” Rhodes said.

“Nine of our targets are in custody as part of this distribution of narcotics ring we’ve identified in Lindsay, as well as three others who will face drug related charges.”

He added his deputies with the Garvin County Sheriff’s Department, officers with the Lindsay Police Department and agents with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics were still working the sweep throughout Wednesday.

Although the sheriff didn’t say cartel he was clear about the fact the investigation was looking at an organized effort with ties to Mexico that was distributing methamphetamine in the Lindsay and western Garvin County area.

“It was organized in a group of people distributing methamphetamine in Garvin County,” Rhodes said. “It included small level dealers as well as those supplying the meth.

“This is directly linked to Mexican meth organizations,” he said.

“These arrests will have an immediate impact on drugs in Garvin County. It will have a big impact on the flow of narcotics into the Lindsay area.”

This week’s arrests come from an investigation initiated by the sheriff’s office here, later joined by OBN agents and Lindsay police, back in May 2012.

“We got some good arrests back then that allowed us to gain valuable intelligence that would benefit us for months to come,” said the sheriff.

“We learned about who and how methamphetamine was being distributed in the Lindsay area.”

“Wire taps” were then used as the investigation began growing with time.

“We were listening to phone conversations related to the drug distributions organized here in Garvin County.”