OKLAHOMA - The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics takes a lot of people into custody, and they usually never hear of them again.
However, just recently, they not only heard from a woman they arrested but got a thank you, as well.
"It's pretty rare,” said OBN Spokesperson Mark Woodward said. “In fact, in my 21 years here, that's probably the second call I've gotten."
It was not a drug bust call.
Those are almost a dime a dozen at OBN, but it was a call from a woman who was part of one of those drug busts.
She called to thank them.
"She said she got caught up in a drug trafficking investigation that we worked back in 2013,” Woodward said. "She said that was time that she used to basically get herself clean and sober for the first time in years, and that's often what it takes."
The agency makes several cases a year against some of Oklahoma's most dangerous drug suspects, including traffickers from all over the country, distributors and users.
"Many of these take six months to a year sometimes to work, and you oftentimes identify 20-30 defendants and go in and get them all at one time, and this was similar to one of those,” Woodward said. “It was a large scale drug trafficking operation."
It cost the state about $19,000 per year to incarcerate one inmate and about $5,000 for drug court treatment but, many times, that treatment isn't enough or an option.
"Many of them need a carrot dangling over them and, for some, it's the threat of prison time,” Woodward said.
According to the Department of Corrections, Oklahoma has more than 26,000 inmates in the prison system.
More than 17 percent are there for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and 10 percent for possession of drugs.
"We see people at their darkest hours, when you're going through the door with an arrest warrant, it's chaos and they're deep into addiction and criminal behavior, and we turn them over to the prosecutor’s office and file the charges,” Woodward said.
Sometimes, on the rarest of occasions, they come back and not because of an arrest - but out of gratitude.
The woman wants to remain anonymous.