A 33-year-old man incarcerated in an Oklahoma corrections facility has been charged with running a methamphetamine and heroin distribution network from his prison cell. A federal grand jury indicted the man on multiple drug and conspiracy charges on June 4. The man was sent to the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville for 35 years after being convicted of murder in the second degree. He was arraigned in a federal court on June 17.
Federal prosecutors believe that the man used contraband cellphones and a network of couriers and dealers to distribute hundreds of pounds of heroin and methamphetamine each year. He is said to have controlled every step of the illegal narcotics operation from acquisition to distribution. Investigators say that the man organized and financed at least eight major drug shipments over a period of about two years.
The man’s alleged activities were investigated by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigators from the Department of Homeland Security. These federal agencies were assisted by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma. Each of the drug offenses the man is accused of committing carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Prosecutors often find it difficult to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and this could be especially true when the defendant is an inmate accused of committing crimes outside prison. In these situations, experienced criminal defense attorneys may pay close attention to the materials handed over by prosecutors during discovery. This is because evidence in these cases is often provided by the defendant’s fellow inmates who may only be cooperating because they have been offered sentence reductions or other concessions.