OKLAHOMA CITY -- State and Federal authorities shut down a major Mexican methamphetamine network in central Oklahoma early Monday morning by surprising dozens of suspects in their homes.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), along with officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) served 30 arrest warrants as part of a year-long undercover investigation.
Our cameras were rolling as doors were knocked down in Oklahoma City and suspects were handcuffed.
"The folks who were arrested today and that have been arrested in the past are the people that need to go to jail," OBN Director Darrell Weaver said. "These are economic-based violators. These are folks that are bringing destruction to our state."
Officers had arrested 17 suspects by Monday afternoon.
"The streets of our communities are a little safer because of our law enforcement actions," HSI agent Marlon Miller said.
Weaver said those arrested included users and distributors of meth who have ties to Mexican producers that supply 10 to 12 pounds of meth to Oklahoma every week.
"We believe at least 80 percent of all methamphetamine that comes to Oklahoma is sourced out of Mexico," Weaver said.
The street value of those drugs is astounding.
"We actually did an undercover transaction for $16,000 for one pound of meth," Weaver said. "So you put the numbers to it, this is a group of people that were obviously in it for economic gain."
All the suspects arrested Monday were transported to the Oklahoma County jail where they'll face several charges, including conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.
Officials say about 10 percent of the defendants in this investigation were illegal aliens, the majority of whom were arrested back in March.