Comments Off on Huge Meth Bust Nabs 39 Suspects; Center Was Across From Tecumseh High School

Thousands of doses of methamphetamine were taken off the streets last week in the largest drug bust this area has ever seen.
The large-scale methamphetamine bust was conducted across Pottawatomie County last Wednesday, June 27, by a joint task force of officers.
District Attorney Richard Smothermon said the scope of this operation, believed to be linked to a Mexican supply line, was enormous.
Smothermon said the operation trafficked close to 20 pounds of methamphetamine over the 28 days the suspects were under surveillance.
The district attorney said authorities used information gained from a traffic stop to procure permission for a wire from the Oklahoma Department of Criminal Appeals. “We have been, for the last 28 days, up on what’s called a wire, listening to the cell phone chatter of a couple of high target individuals,” Smothermon said.
Throughout the first 48 hours of the wire being open, Smothermon said the phones received more than 1,300 drug-related phone calls.
Authorities then followed Linda Ellis and Steven Faulkner, the apparent leaders of the operation locally, as they exchanged $30,000 for two pounds of meth every other day for those 28 days, Smothermon said.
Smothermon estimated the two moved close to 20 pounds of meth throughout the county during the period of wire surveillance.
Faulkner, 53, of Tecumseh, was arrested in Duncan while on the job as a contractor for Rent-A-Center, Smothermon said, and Ellis, 48, of Shawnee, was arrested in the parking lot of a Shawnee Dollar General. In all, 39 people were arrested at several different locations.
Apparently, the base of operations for Ellis and Faulkner was a Tecumseh residence, 802 N. 13th Street, right across the street from Tecumseh High School. The proximity of the drugs to the school brings an additional charge, although there is no evidence that meth was being sold there. A trailer behind the residence was apparently the distribution center for the area.
Tecumseh school officials had no forewarning of the raid, Superintendent Tom Wilsie said. “Bob (Mayo, the district’s maintenance director) saw it as it was happening,” Wilsie said.
Wilsie said the property had been vacant for some time until about a year ago, when he noticed what appeared to be “a lot of work” going on at the site. Since then, there have “always been a ton of cars there.” He said he is “glad to get them off the street.”


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