Illicit Phone in Prison Used to Mastermind Drug Ring & Money Laundering

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that 29 people were each indicted for Drug Conspiracy, punishable by not less than 10 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000,000 fine, yesterday 18th September, 2019

All 29 defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, with some of those defendants additionally charged with other crimes, including International Money Laundering, Money Laundering Conspiracy and Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Heroin, and/or Cocaine.

The Indictment alleges that beginning on November 4, 2016 and continuing until on or about September 11, 2019, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, the defendants willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed together, and with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit offenses against the United States.

The Indictment also alleges that on certain dates from July 16, 2019 through August 8, 2019, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendants Enrique Pacheco, Lannie Jo Carter, Shaina Nicole Johnson, Trina Kay Rose, Daniel Pacheco, Maricsa Pacheco and Tabitha Ann Bryant, transmitted, transferred and attempted to transmit and transfer funds, that is United States Currency, by wire transfer from a place in the United States to a place outside the United States, with the intent to promote the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity, that is, the felonious importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(2)(A) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2, punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment and a fine of the greater of $500,000.00 or two-times the amount of the transaction.

United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “Each year hundreds of people in Oklahoma die as a result of drug overdoses. Among the drugs contributing to these tragic deaths are methamphetamine and heroin. This operation, known as operation “Pop Can,” targeted an organization dealing those deadly drugs in the Eastern District and throughout Oklahoma.” Kuester added, “This investigation has been a shining example of how the public benefits when law enforcement agencies collaborate. The scope, duration, and success of this takedown would not have been possible without the participation of the agencies involved.”

“Operation Pop Can has thus far resulted in 25 arrests, and the seizure of over 30 pounds of meth and approximately 5 pounds of heroin. This investigation is yet another, where a contraband phone is smuggled into a DOC facility, and then utilized by an inmate to orchestrate criminal activity spanning across all three Oklahoma Federal Judicial Districts,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Scott. “The success in this case was a direct result of the collaboration between federal, state, and local agencies.   It was a combined effort of everyone involved bringing their respective resources together to go after this criminal organization.  There is no doubt that the takedown of this group will have a positive effect on our community.”

“The FBI works closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to combat organized crime and illegal drug trafficking in Oklahoma. Today’s arrests are a reminder to those who prey on our communities – your criminal activity will not be tolerated and you will be brought to justice,” said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Division.

“The selling of illicit drugs in our communities negatively impacts nearly all aspects of our lives,” said Tamera Cantu, IRS Special Agent In Charge of the Dallas Field Office.  “This investigation involves drug traffickers laundering their profits through wire transfers to Mexico.  The role of IRS-Criminal Investigation in narcotics cases is to track down these profits and dismantle the drug trafficking organizations. Today’s indictments emphasize our commitment to this role as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to protect people’s security, health and wellbeing by bringing these criminals to justice.”