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24 people arrested in alleged heroin distribution network

TULSA, Okla. – Federal authorities say 24 people have been arrested in connection with a drug-trafficking ring that’s tied to a Mexican cartel authorities believe distributed about 4.4 pounds of heroin a week in northeastern Oklahoma.

The Tulsa World reports the arrests were made Tuesday after federal authorities unsealed a 73-count indictment against 29 people in connection with an investigation dubbed Operation Smack Dragon. Officials say five defendants remain at large in Mexico or elsewhere.

Officials say law enforcement agencies executed search warrants during the arrests and reportedly seized 6.6 pounds of heroin, $150,000 in drug proceeds, two firearms and four vehicles.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-Lyn McCormick says the investigation began in 2017 after investigators learned about the drug trafficking ring tied to the New Generation Cartel in Mexico.

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