OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma State Representative Dick Lowe, R-District 56, is applauding the largest single-day drug bust in state history. He’s recognizing the recent work of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
On Feb. 22, OBN executed thirteen search warrants at nine farms and three houses simultaneously. The agency successfully coordinated with multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in seven counties to make the raid a success.
More than 400 law enforcement officers seized what is estimated to be over $500 million in assets from the illegal operations. More than 150,000 marijuana plants were seized.
House Resolution 1044, presented by Rep. Lowe, recognizes the diligent work and culmination of a yearlong OBN investigation.
“Our law enforcement officers have had a difficult time navigating the waters of enforcing medical marijuana laws over the past few years,” Lowe said. “When State Question 788 passed in 2018, it created a ‘Wild West’ environment in Oklahoma when it comes to medical marijuana. The Legislature had very little time to establish rules and guidelines before medical marijuana grow operations and dispensaries started popping up all over Oklahoma, including illegal operations run by foreign bad actors participating in drug and human trafficking. I am thankful for our hardworking law enforcement officers who, through a year of hard work, shut down a massive illegal operation that had been going on in our state. This resolution is just one small token of the Legislature’s gratitude for their service.”
OBN spokesman Mark Woodard said so far, six people have been arrested in the black market operation that spreads from California to North Carolina.
“We still have outstanding warrants for seven more individuals and we will do our best to track them down,” he explained. “Some may have already left the country by now. Many of these groups had ties back to Asia, specifically China.”
Woodard continued by saying the actual marijuana is just the start.
“We’re going to be looking at seizing vehicles, bank accounts, cash, possibly the property where the marijuana is being grown, to try to defund these criminal organizations who were profiting while hiding within our marijuana program,” Woodard said.
He explained that these illegal operations are “hiding” behind legal licenses, but moving product to the black market.
He added that OBN is proud the state legislature is acknowledging their mission.
“We’re very appreciative for the funding and the support they’re providing so we can have a full time unit focused on these criminals,” Woodard concluded.
OBN leaders say more of these large-scale law enforcement operations are being planned as the agency actively investigates hundreds of suspected illegal marijuana growing operations around the state.