A grand jury has indicted 29 people – including one from Tahlequah – in relation to a drug ring run by an Oklahoma State Penitentiary inmate using a smuggled phone, said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester Wednesday afternoon.
The investigation, a collaborative effort among dozens of local, state and federal agencies titled "Operation Pop Cap," led to charges against people from as far away as Alma, Arkansas.
Area residents charged include: Feather Cheyenne Pacheco, 23, of Tahlequah; Marc Anthony Cox, 43, of Fort Gibson; Trina Kay Rose, 30, of Fort Gibson. Charged from Muskogee were: Jose Miguel Pacheco, 30; Maricsa Pacheco, 29; Lannie Jo Carter, 18; Daniel Pacheco, 25; Teodoro Renteria Pacheco, 55; Randy Eugene Langton, 61; Tabitha Ann Bryant, 37; Ervin Hernandez, 31; and Christian Jonathan Hernandez, 30.
All defendants are charged with drug conspiracy. Enrique Pacheco, Carter, Johnson, Rose, Daniel Pacheco, Maricsa Pacheo and Tabitha Ann Bryant also are charged with international money laundering in relation to transfers made from the U.S. to Mexico. Several defendants have been charged with money laundering conspiracy and distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.
"This operation... targeted an organization dealing deadly drugs in the Eastern District and throughout Oklahoma," Kuester said. "This investigation has been a shining example of how the public benefits when law enforcement agencies collaborate."
According to the indictment, the ring centered on OSP inmate Enrique Pacheco, who used a smuggled cell phone to begin organizing the shipping, receiving and purchase of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin beginning in November 2016. Pacheco's organization, some of whom were his family members, would, at his instruction, pick up and pay for drugs sourced from Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Mexico, then distribute them around the Eastern Oklahoma district.
The probe has recovered 30 pounds of methamphetamine and 5 pounds of heroin, the news release states.
"We stand here united to disrupt, dismantle and destroy drug organizations," Kuester said.
Enrique Pacheco has since been taken into the custody of U.S. Marshals and removed from OSP, Kuester said. And, 26 of the 29 defendants named in the indictment have been arrested.