Meth conversion lab discovered in Oklahoma City, agents seize 121 pounds of meth
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents discovered the largest meth conversion lab ever in our state over the weekend.
It all started with a traffic stop as part of a joint investigation into a criminal organization by OBN and Homeland Security Investigations agents.
They discovered 15 pounds of meth inside the vehicle, which led to a search warrant being executed at a home located in the 2900 block of S.W. 39th Terrace in Oklahoma City.
That’s where they discovered a large-scale meth manufacturing operation.
“Typically, these larger conversion labs are down in Mexico or at the very least in border towns like El Paso, maybe Phoenix, San Diego. But, to find a conversion lab in the heart of Oklahoma City is very unusual,” said Mark Woodward, spokesperson for OBN.
Inside the home, they found 121 pounds of meth in either crystal or liquid form, with an approximate street value of $1.5 million.
Officials say keeping the drug in liquid form is the new way for Mexican drug cartels to smuggle it into the United States.
Often it’s hidden in vehicle parts that would already have liquid.
“False gas tanks or compartments within a false gas tank, a car battery or a false compartment within a car battery,” said Woodward.
The house in southwest Oklahoma City was a hub for converting that liquid meth into its street form, the crystal meth or “ice.”
“It was certainly significant that we remove this group because they certainly had the capacity to move a lot of liquid meth and convert it quickly,” said Woodward.
“This is a nice little neighborhood and stuff so you know you don’t think about that. You keep wondering why the traffic and stuff,” said neighbor Odessa Ross.
Ross said she’d noticed the large volume of traffic to the home and she’s glad the operation was shut down.
“Yes, I’m most definitely glad. Traffic should slow down considerably out there,” said Ross.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the operation – Felipe De Jesus Sanchez Martinez, Marisol Valdez Nava and Luis Carlos Castaneda Espinoza.
The two men and woman are all citizens of Mexico illegally present in the United States.
Agents say more arrests are possible as the investigation continues.