OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 14, 2023) – The Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) last week seized more than 36 tons of illegal marijuana in searches conducted in Wagoner County and Lincoln County. Attorney General Gentner Drummond established the task force earlier this year to combat Oklahoma’s many illegal marijuana operations.
“Our state has been overrun with criminals who are trafficking drugs in our local communities and throughout the country,” Drummond said. “I will not tolerate this serious threat to public safety. I am proud of the work of the Organized Crime Task Force and our law enforcement partners for their efforts to eliminate this blight on our communities.”
On Nov. 9, the task force executed a search warrant on a Wagoner County business where agents found more than 72,000 pounds of black-market marijuana inside a metal barn. Assisting in the seizure were Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, Wagoner County Commissioners and the Wagoner County Emergency Management office.
The seizure is among the largest in state history.
“The collaboration with our law enforcement partners across Oklahoma is vital to the public safety of our communities,” said Robert Melton, assistant special agent in charge for HSI Dallas’ Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle Division. “Operations like these led by the OCTF help curtail the spread of other nefarious activities such as human trafficking and money laundering that often lead to even more dangerous transnational crime.”
Later that same day, the OCTF assisted OMMA in the inspection of a Lincoln County medical marijuana grow operation. Agents found an amount of untagged, and therefore untraceable, marijuana in a car on the premises. That discovery led to the execution of another search warrant that yielded 250 pounds of illegal marijuana. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office assisted the task force and OMMA in execution of the search warrant.
“We’re grateful to partner with Attorney General Drummond in this fight against illicit operators who continually attempt to find respite behind the backdrop of the legitimate medical marijuana industry,” said OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry. “This collaboration sends a strong message that criminal activity isn’t welcome in our medical cannabis program.”
The newly formed Organized Crime Task Force works closely with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes related to illegal marijuana grow operations, including human trafficking and the distribution of deadly drugs such as fentanyl.
Citizens with information about suspected illegal grow operations are encouraged to submit a tip to the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General. A complaint form is available at oag.ok.gov by clicking on the “Illegal Marijuana Tipline” tab (https://www.oag.ok.gov/illegal-marijuana-growbusiness-complaint-form). Tips also can be sent to [email protected] and reporters can remain anonymous.
House Bill 2095, which was signed into law earlier this year, gives the Organized Crime Task Force – in conjunction with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation – full enforcement authority over medical marijuana laws.