Feds indict 35 people in gang-related drug trafficking case

December 6, 2019 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma City say 35 people have been indicted as part of a drug-trafficking conspiracy coordinated by imprisoned gang leaders using contraband cellphones.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Downing said in a statement Friday that the indictments resulted from a year-long investigation of activities of the Southside Locos Gang and some of its imprisoned leaders.

Downing said law enforcement seized more than 111 pounds (50.35 kilograms) of methamphetamine, 8 pounds (3.63 kilograms) of heroin, 34 firearms and $200,000 in currency during the investigation.

Downing said: “This investigation illustrates the threat that contraband cellphones in prison pose.”

Prosecutors allege that gang leaders inside Oklahoma’s prisons used contraband cellphones to coordinate the distribution of multiple kilograms of meth and heroin from sources in Mexico to locations in Oklahoma.

Most of those indicted have been arrested, including several defendants who were already in custody, but Downing said nine defendants still aren’t in custody and are considered fugitives.