TAHLEQUAH — Five Cherokee County men involved in a drug conspiracy investigated by local, state and federal authorities entered guilty pleas Thursday.
Jose Alfredo Marquez, 27; Pedro Marquez and Carlos Contreras, both 20; Toby Brave, 36; and Steven Luna, 32, entered pleas as a result of a probe by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Violent Crimes Task Force. That group includes the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, District 27 Drug Task Force and the Tahlequah and Muskogee Police Departments.
The men were indicted in March.
The Marquezes were indicted for drug conspiracy and illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien. Contreras and Brave were indicted on a drug conspiracy count, and Luna was indicted on drug conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The investigation revealed that between June 2008 and March 2011, the Marquez pair and Contreras conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
U.S. Attorney Mark Green’s office said Jose is responsible for obtaining at least 5 kilograms of methamphetamine from the Tulsa area and distributing it throughout the Tahlequah area.
Toby Brave received at least 1-1/2 kilograms of methamphetamine from the Marquez men and distributed 500 grams of methamphetamine to Luna, who then distributed the substance to others in the Tahlequah area.
A .25-caliber handgun and distribution amounts of methamphetamine were found in a locked box at Luna’s home.
All of the men will remain in federal custody pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation. Their sentencing dates will be set at a later time. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton accepted the guilty pleas.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Henson prosecuted the case.