Eight Tulsa Residents Arrested in Large Scale Drug Case

Eight Mexican nationals living in the Tulsa area were arrested Wednesday for participating in what officials called a "wide-ranging" drug trafficking conspiracy.

Law enforcement officers also seized approximately 20 pounds of crystal meth, approximately two pounds of cocaine, six firearms and several thousand dollars, a press release said.

Seven of those arrested made initial court appearances Wednesday in Tulsa; another individual was arrested in Texas. All eight are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, according to acting U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott Woodward.

Those arrested are: Ruben Garcia, male, 29, Tulsa and Mesquite, Texas; Mauricio Banuelos, male, 25, Tulsa; Alejandra Romero, female, 23, Tulsa; Rubi Garcia, female, 21, Jenks; Leonel Ledezma, male, 26, Tulsa; Juan Antonio Martinez, male, age unknown, Tulsa; Oscar Palacios, male, 24, Tulsa; Gilberto Rivera, male, age unknown, Owasso.

The arrests are part of Project Coronado, a coordinated nation-wide law enforcement initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice Special Operations Division (SOD).

At a Washington, D.C. press conference earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder said  more than 3,000 agents and officers took part in a two-day operation in 19 states, including the Northern District of Oklahoma. The operation resulted in the arrests of 303 individuals, the seizure of approximately $3.4 million in U.S. currency, hundreds of pounds of narcotics and many vehicles and firearms, the press release said.

The prosecution of this case in Federal court in Tulsa will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allen J. Litchfield and Robert T. Raley of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the Northern District of Oklahoma.