13 people were arrested in the Oklahoma Panhandle after authorities wrapped up a four-month undercover drug bust, "Operation Surprise."
Oklahoma District 1 Task Force (DATF) obtained warrants for 12 people who allegedly engaged in the sale and ditribution of controlled dangerous sustances. According to the DATF, those 12 were involved in selling and distributing marijuana, cocaine and prescription medications.
"Operation Surprise" was initiated in mid-November 2010 with a Harper County, Okla Deputy operating undercover buying the drugs.The warrants were obtained March 21, 2011 and the 12 suspects were quickly arrested in Texas County. Included in those warrants was one juvenile who was taken into custody. One person, according to Guymon's Chief of Police Eddie Adamson, was arrested while the warrants were being served because drugs were found in his possession.
We are glad to get these drug dealers off the streets here in Guymon and intend for this operation to be only the first in many joint operations to attack the local trafficking of drugs to our population, especially the students in our city," said Adamson. "Removing these drug dealers from the streets will make a dent in drug distribution in our area.
The individuals arrested were Angel Aguirre, Rebecca Payne, Angela Victoria-Lopez, Cody Schaef, Josh Collins, Nathan Stull, Beau Janzen, Winter Dawn Peterson, Ramiro Casas, Heriberto Ortiz, Jr., Tijah Slaughter, James Walwanis and Robert Diaz.
Most are being charged with multiple counts of criminal violations relating to the sale and distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) to the undercover deputy.
DATF says the investigation is ongoing nd additional arrests are expected in Texas, Beaver and Harper Counties.
With the dedication and cooperation of the agencies in our area as well as our neighboring counties we were able to stop some of the flow of illegal narcotics in our area," said Texas County Sheriff Rick Caddell. "We will continue to work to protect the citizens of our County.
This initial sweep of arrests was done by 31 law enforcement officers from different agencies such as Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Sheriff's Offices in Cimarron, Harper, Texas and Beaver Counties, and police departments in Guymon, Goodwell, Texhoma, Boise City and Keys.
DATF was created in 2003 to handle specific cases involving illegal drugs, gangs and other major crimes. It is now operated under the direction of a board made up of the District Attorney, County Sheriffs and area police chiefs.
"From the inception of the DATF, it has been my desire and goal to shift the structure of the DATF to a truly multi-jurisdictional law enforcement operation under the guidance and direction of representatives from law enforcement agencies in District 1," said District Attorney Mike Boring. "This shift is the first fruits of a greatly enhanced cooperative effort by all District 1 law enforcement agencies to establish and maintain a cohesive and coordinated effort in achieving improved enforcement and prosecution of illegal drug crimes."