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Afghan heroin comes to Oklahoma City up interstate, onto turnpike


Ben Fenwick November 20th, 2008

On July 3, an Oklahoma County deputy watched a gray Chevrolet Impala with California tags sweep across several lanes of traffic in a way that signaled something amiss. "It was traveling at less than ...

afghan-heroin
e driver's reaction.

"I observed (her) lip began to quiver. She then stared at my car, back at her car and then back at my car. She was extremely nervous at this point and began to tremble slightly," the deputy wrote.

The K-9 officer walked his partner, a dog named Mick, around the car. He also noticed the woman's demeanor.

"I could see her body language change from what appeared to be happy-go-lucky to a nervous concerned body language. The smile left her face and she appeared to be noticeably nervous," the Oklahoma City Police Department officer wrote. As he walked Mick around the car, the dog sniffed and scratched at the panel between the back door and the rear wheel well. "From my training and experience, I believed Mick to be alerting to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle."

The deputy asked the driver if there was anything illegal in her car. She said no, and consented to a search, according to the report.

The first few pieces of luggage yielded nothing important " but then the OCPD officer picked up pay dirt.

"I then removed a large red cloth suitcase that was extremely heavy," he wrote. "As I placed the suitcase on the ground, behind the vehicle it felt like there were packages in the bottom of the suitcase. I opened the suitcase and pulled back the clothing in which I could feel packages of what is consistent with contraband in the bottom of the suitcase."

The deputy joined him and they pulled back the clothing to a zip-out interior cloth of the suitcase.

"I opened the liner cover on the suitcase and observed a piece of cardboard under it," the deputy wrote. "I pulled back the cardboard and observed several compressed bundles wrapped in tape and food saver bags underneath. I pulled one of the bundles out and saw it was the shape of a shoe insole. I recognized this as being a current trend in the trafficking of heroin."

For much of the time, a cell phone in the seat next to the driver was ringing. And ringing. And ringing.

"The thing was blowing up the whole time," Prater said.

That phone later turned out to be a prepaid phone, which are capable of what is known as "AccuTracking." The company's Web site states the device is a low-cost prepaid phone capable of allowing someone to track, via the Internet, a car carrying it. The phones were seized. Authorities now wonder if they were being tracked.

MAPQUEST ROUTE
Also found was a MapQuest route around Oklahoma City. Oklahoma's COMIT team cooperates with Oklahoma County deputies and OCPD under the umbrella of the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office. Prater, himself a former officer, said the team is well-known in trafficking circles.

"These guys are good and they win awards. The bad guys know it," Prater said. "They have their people try to go around Oklahoma City."

According to a deputy in on the bust, the map the driver had indicated they were to turn onto the Kilpatrick Turnpike at Yukon, and continue up Interstate 44. The deputy said state law prohibits local law enforcement from entering state turnpikes, and apparently this is widely known among drug traffickers. The woman had been attempting to get to the turnpike, he said.

"If she'd have made it, we might have missed them," the deputy said.

Instead, they placed the women under arrest. An officer took custody of the young girl. The car and contents were towed back to the police impound lot downtown.

As they walked to the squad car to take the women away, the officer noticed the driver appeared to be taking it hard.

"I asked her if she was OK, and she appeared to be visibly upset and just kept saying 'I'm so stupid. I'm so stupid,'" the officer wrote. "I asked her if she wanted to talk to me."

The woman then repeated to the officer that she was stupid.

"It wasn't like I needed the money," the driver said. "I just graduated from (a university) and have a good job. As a matter of fact, two jobs. I'm a single mother. I've been a single mother for eight years and I have a $20,000 student loan

 
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