Drug Raid Begins at Dawn

McAlester, OK – The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) has ended a three-month undercover drug sting in eastern Oklahoma resulting in numerous arrest warrants. OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward says nearly 100 agents and officers from several departments fanned out around 6:30 Wednesday morning armed with arrest warrants for 44 defendants in McAlester and other areas of Pittsburg County accused of selling drugs to undercover OBN agents.

"In 2006, OBN created a Mobile Operations Team (M.O.T.). This
unit is designed to identify and target drug suspects within
specific communities, statewide. Starting in February, OBN agents
assigned to our M.O.T. unit worked in McAlester and other areas of Pittsburg County making undercover drug buys from several dealers. Today, our M.O.T unit wrapped up its investigation by rounding up those
---Mark Woodward, OBN Spokesman

Woodward says the undercover drug buys involved methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs. The defendants in this investigation will face State charges of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. As of 11:00 a.m. a total of 27 defendants were in custody. OBN Director Darrell Weaver says this investigation emphasizes the importance of the M.O.T. unit.

"I believe the ripple effect after the MOT team has conducted this operation will have a paralyzing presence in the McAlester area because drug violators, if they continue their seedy trade, will not know if or when they are actually selling to a state narcotic agent. Our agency is committed to assist local law enforcement to disrupt and dismantle illicit drug groups and this is another tool in attempt to achieve that goal. There is simply no place in our communities for the destruction which drug violators bring. It destroys everything good we want for our state and I refuse to concede any inch of our state to drug offenders. We simply have too much at stake!"
---OBN Director Darrell Weaver

Assisting with the arrests this morning included OBN, Pittsburgh County Sheriff's Department, McAlester Police Department, the U.S. Marshal's Service, and the Pittsburgh County District Attorney's Office. Previous MOT investigations have taken place in Woodward, Bartlesville, Stillwater, Clinton, Claremore, Canadian County, Miami, and Idabel, with additional operations planned for the near future in areas all across the state. Director Weaver says today's round-up is just the first phase of the overall mission in eastern Oklahoma.

"This is another step in the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics efforts to
assist in the restoration of communities across Oklahoma. We first augment our undercover agents with local law enforcement officers to secure cases on numerous drug violators in covert operations. But the Bureau does not stop there. In a few short weeks we will be doing a follow-up town hall meeting which will bring the citizens from this area together with professionals and officials from all walks of life to talk about the illicit drug issues which plague our communities. Faith based groups, civic leaders, intervention specialist, education experts, law enforcement and every citizen I personally challenge to come to the meeting and be a part of taking our communities back. "

---OBN Director Darrell Weaver

Woodward says the Town Hall Meeting on Crime and Substance Abuse is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at the McAlester Expo Center, 4500 W. Highway 270. It will serve as a public forum to further discuss drug enforcement, prevention, and treatment issues within the communities and the schools.