Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 17, 2014

Drug fugitive now in custody

Mike Arie
Pauls Valley Democrat

marie@pvdemocrat.com — The last fugitive is now in custody for a drug arrest sweep that Garvin County officials are now calling “Operation Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.”

Edward Heath McCoy, 33, was taken into custody by U.S. marshals in McAllen, Texas during the afternoon hours Monday.

Accompanied by Matthew V. McCoy, an associate not related to McCoy but sought on active warrants issued here, McCoy was the last of 19 defendants arrested after a lengthy investigation into what was described as an organized drug ring operating in western parts of Garvin County with direct ties to Mexican cartels.

The name for the sweep, which was actually given by officials with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, is for Billy Gene Gray Jr., 56, better known by some as “Pee Wee.”

Gray has been described as a major player and possibly the ringleader of the organized effort that distributed methamphetamine mainly in the Lindsay area.

Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said in a statement McCoy’s arrest is a big deal, especially since he was considered such a dangerous fugitive.

“This was nothing less than outstanding team work between Garvin County deputies, Trooper Danny Long who is assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force in Oklahoma City and fugitive task force members over 600 miles away,” Rhodes said.

“My deputies acted quickly on a lead received early Monday morning and combined that information with intelligence already known to obtain a possible location on Edward Heath McCoy,” he added.

“I am proud of my deputies’ efficient work on Monday to get Edward Heath McCoy located and in custody.”

McCoy had been sought by officials here since an arrest sweep on Dec. 11 of several suspected drug offenders.

Rhodes said after “criminal intelligence” on McCoy was received by his office on Monday deputies in his office began working together with a U.S. marshal, who relayed the “pertinent” information to marshals in McAllen, Texas.

Both men were then arrested without incident.

After the arrest authorities found various firearms, all loaded, and plenty of ammunition inside of McCoy’s vehicle.

According to Rhodes, federal authorizes are conducting a separate investigation on the two fugitives.

The process has began to extradite both subjects back to Garvin County, he added.

“It is very fortunate both Heath McCoy and Matt McCoy were apprehended away from a cache of high powered weapons and ammo they had stockpiled in a vehicle,” the sheriff said.

“We had heard all along Heath McCoy was armed and was threatening not to be taken into custody by law enforcement.

“All indications were both fugitives were seeking the opportunity to cross the border to Mexico.”