Investigation Breaks Up 4 Massive Drug Trafficking Rings In Oklahoma Prisons
Four massive drug trafficking rings have been busted in the past nine months, and all were run by gangs in Oklahoma prisons. This was preceded by several years of investigation.
275 people have now been convicted and agents have seized more than a thousand pounds of drugs, $1 million in cash and hundreds of guns.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said this is something every jail and jail in the state fights every day, whether it’s drugs, tobacco or guns.
However, the DOC said the biggest threat to public safety was smuggled cellphones, as they gave detainees direct access to the outside world.
DOC said they had seized cellphones the size of a peppermint from Oklahoma jails.
Prisoners use these phones not only to orchestrate drug trafficking, but also to order others to commit violent crimes on the streets, DOC said.
“Smuggling is a public safety issue. Smuggling can be cell phones, drugs, anything that has an economic dimension inside a prison,” said Oklahoma DOC’s Josh Ward. “These things can be used to control people.”
After years of investigation, 275 people have now been convicted, all of whom had ties to Oklahoma prison gangs.
The US Department of Justice said 60 of those convicted belonged to the Southside Locos gang, including their leader Eduardo Rosales, who has now been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
69 were in the Universal Aryan Brotherhood, including their leader, Chance Wilson, who ran the drug operation from his prison cell, according to the DOJ.
125 belonged to the Irish mafia, including its leader David Postelle, who was already serving a life sentence for murder.
They said he was responsible for trafficking 270 kilos of meth from his maximum security prison cell.
“The phones are most troubling because they can connect an inmate to the outside world, whether for harassment or directing other criminal activity,” Ward said.
Agents said all 275 people now convicted either ordered or participated in witness tampering, shootings, kidnappings and even death threats against prosecutors.
Four were DOC employees convicted of conspiracy to distribute drugs in correctional facilities, sell meth, and launder drug money.
Ward said some prisoners feel like they have nothing to lose, but these drug trafficking networks wouldn’t work without outside cooperation, so law enforcement will pursue them and put them in jail, too.
“It’s a huge organization putting these things together to smuggle these products into prison. They use it to commit crimes from outside.”
DOC said they support any legislation that would jam phone signals in prisons to stop this problem.