Alert Canadian County Sheriff's Deputies are credited after a major bust of methamphetamine worth more than $2.3 million dollars.
Deputies found the drugs in a 2004 Ford Explorer that was on a vehicle transport at the TA Truck Stop on Morgan Road near I-40 Friday, October 11. The deputies were drawn to the SUV because it was registered in Colorado but was transported from Los Angeles to Monett, Missouri.
"They just thought it looked peculiar and they approached the driver, started questioning him, and everything just didn't click like they thought it should," said Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West.
Officials got consent to search the vehicle and discovered a false compartment in the rear passenger area. In the compartment, they found 15 bundles of illegal drugs that is believed to be methamphetamine. The bundles weighed 1.3 kilos each and totaled out at 19.5 kilos: approximately 42.9 pounds. Deputies say the drugs are estimated to be worth $2.3 million.
"It was great investigative work of the deputy," said Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. "I applaud the deputy for doing such work."
The deputies are task force member with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and coordinated a controlled delivery to the original destination. Once they arrived, they delivered the car to a man who paid the shipping fees and took the vehicle to a home in Monett.
Deputies then arrested the man along with five others at the home. When deputies searched the property, they found more meth, firearms and a substantial amount of money and documents related to the trafficking of the drugs.
Six people were arrested and booked into Monett City Jail and will be transferred to a Federal Detention Center where they will be charged with trafficking narcotics, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, money laundering, and weapons related charges.
"I'm extremely pleased with my deputy's work on this case, and even more so that as members of the DEA's federal task force we're able to cross not only county lines, but state lines in order to apprehend the criminals behind this operation." said Randall R. Edwards, Canadian County Sheriff.
Edwards says the driver of the transport truck was unaware of what was in the SUV that he was transporting.
"It appears this was a long running operation involving the use of unsuspecting Semi drivers to transport the vehicles containing the narcotics cross country. The group was using sophisticated concealment methods to ensure the safe transit of the narcotics and seems to have utilized the small town of Monett due it's rural location with a large immigrant population," Edwards said.
Weaver says a bust like this sends a clear message to drug dealers looking to ship their product through our state.
"Listen, we're out there, we're looking and you run the risk coming through Oklahoma."