By DYLAN GOFORTH World Staff Writer | Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 12:00 am
Guilty pleas from two Checotah men who authorities allege moved nearly 300 pounds of methamphetamine both inside and outside an Oklahoma prison wrapped up a federal drug trafficking investigation on Wednesday.
Michael A. Metzker, aka “Lurch,” 36, and Michael W. Metzker, 59, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and distribution charges, crimes that carry up to 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine.
The Metzkers were among 11 people indicted in April for those crimes and are the final two to plead. All 11 are awaiting sentencing.
The operation that led to the indictments was dubbed “The Battle of Honey Creek” after a Civil War battle in the area of the Metzkers’ hometown.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Henson said the Metzkers, members of the United Aryan Brotherhood, were housed in Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville. While there, they began operations that eventually involved 288 pounds of methamphetamine moving throughout the prison system and community, he said.
“We were actually investigating them while they were in prison, and they were released before we were finished,” Henson said. “So the investigation continued as they were outside of the prison system.”
Michael A. Metzker, according to Henson, was the organizer of the group, and his contacts with the UAB helped it move the large quantities of meth.
He was in prison from Dec. 24, 2009, until Jan. 8, 2014, but found a way to possess and use cellphones that had been smuggled into prison to help acquire and distribute meth, a media release states.
“Unfortunately, the acquisition and distribution of drugs inside the prison system is an ongoing problem,” Henson said. “They do their best to contain it, and they do contain it to a degree, but they can’t stop it. The reasons behind these indictments were to control it.”
The others charged were Lacey Renee Park, 29, of Checotah; Derek Park, 31, of Checotah; Margaret Casey, 45, of Checotah; Shawna Vanzant, 33, of Henryetta; Jackie Dale Brumley, 44, of Noble; Cornell Tyleiz Harvey, 29, of Oklahoma City; Scott Wesley Duncan, 38, of Oklahoma City; Sunny Ann Martinek, 38, of Norman; and Steven D. Carr, 43, of Checotah.
Sentencing dates for the 11 defendants will not be set until presentence reports are complete, prosecutors said.
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