Twelve individuals were arrested Monday, including one from Parsons, for allegedly taking part in methamphetamine trafficking operations, announced U.S. Attorney in Oklahoma Trent Shores. The arrests were part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation.
The arrests resulted from an indictment filed this week charging 22 people for two counts of methamphetamine drug conspiracy and other charges. Twelve indicted defendants were arrested and three others were already in custody.
The two defendants from Parsons who were indicted are Jeffrey S. Strathe and Daniel C. Hilger. It’s unknown if Strathe has been arrested. His house caught fire on Thursday but he was not home when firefighters responded. Hilger was arrested Monday and released on a $10,000 bond.
Also named in the 10-count indictment are Servando Espinoza-De Paz, Marco D. Phillips, Mark A. Allison, Tomas Mondragon, Samuel G. Gonzalez, Ismael Landeros, Jose M. Villafana Luviano, Joseph Rodriguez, Alicia Kozikuski, Ronnell D. McLemore, Daniel K. Bowers, Gary Peden, Orville McCalister, Jennifer L. Gallagher, Allen D. Goff, Brandi D. Hall, Jennifer L. Easley, Dustin A. Hughart, Donna K. Nelkorn (also known as Donna K. Mobley) and Kevin K. Hill.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tulsa, the alleged crimes involved couriers and distributors of methamphetamine transported from Mexico. The deadly drug was brought up to Tulsa and then provided to distributors who sold the methamphetamine. The indictment says crimes alleged in count one began in September 2019. Crimes alleged in count two began in April.
“Today’s takedown of another drug trafficking operation is a reminder that even in the midst of a pandemic, illicit drugs are making their way into our communities,” Shores said in a prepared statement Monday. “In the last two weeks, federal prosecutors have charged more than 50 defendants for their roles in heroin or methamphetamine distribution networks. I’m thankful for the diligent work of the hundreds of law enforcement officers who made these arrests happen.”
The indictment charges 14 defendants, including couriers, distributors and Hilger from Parsons, in count one with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. In count two, six defendants are charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and to distributing methamphetamine. The accused distributors named in count two — Phillips, McCalister, Gallagher, Goff, Hall, Easley and Hughart — allegedly worked together to mutually benefit from the illicit drug sales. The remaining counts involve drug deals made on different dates by multiple defendants, including Hilger and Strathe.
Hilger is also named in count four for allegedly possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth on June 7. Strathe is named in count 10 for allegedly possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth on Aug. 12.
The federal case file included a complaint against Nelkorn of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Hill that was filed a week before the indictment was filed against all 22 defendants. The complaint included an affidavit from a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. The agent wrote that on Aug. 10 a drug task force surveilled the Good Gracious Inn at 12525 E. 52nd St. in Tulsa because a person staying in Room 108 was possibly distributing meth. At 5:30 p.m. that day, a black Chevrolet Equinox with Missouri tags pulled up and Nelkorn got out and walked to Room 108. Soon her passenger, Hill, got out and walked into 108 as well. The two left at 6:40 p.m. and an officer pulled the Equinox over for a traffic infraction at 4100 S. Garnett Road, Tulsa. During the stop, Nelkorn pulled a handgun from her pocket and pointed it at the officer and made suicidal comments and pointed the gun at her temple. Officers de-escalated the situation after several hours, the affidavit said. During a search of the vehicle, officers found more than 300 grams of crystal meth in multiple plastic bags, a large knife, a digital scale and about $908 cash in Nelkorn’s purse.
Nelkorn faces charges in Tulsa related to the traffic stop and remains jailed on a $75,000 bond. Hill of Tulsa was released from the Tulsa County Jail on Monday. He was released in the federal case on a $10,000 bond.
The drug investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.
Thursday’s law enforcement action was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in partnership with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Tulsa Police Department. Thursday’s law enforcement action was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in partnership with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Broken Arrow Police Department, Rogers County District Attorney’s Office, Miami Police Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In Kansas, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Parsons Police Department and Labette County Sheriff’s Office assisted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O. Johnston is prosecuting the case.