- (Photo: Facebook/Herbert Joseph)
Darlene Mayes, 73, has been arrested after authorities broke up the grandmother's drug ring. She was found with nearly $300,000 in cash and four pounds of marijuana, along with several firearms in the home.
Bobby Floyd, police chief in Vinta, Oklahoma, told The Daily that Mayes had been responsible for supplying at least 40 percent of the community's drugs. The ring extended all the way to Arkansas, Kansas, and part of Missouri.
"We feel like it was coming in from all over, and we think this is a real good arrest," Sheriff Jimmy Scooter told kjrh.com. "We think we really put a big dent in the drug trade in Northeastern Oklahoma."
Authorities had been watching Mayes and her family for months before finally making the bust.
"From what we gathered, there were people running around selling for her," Floyd told The Daily. "Nobody dealt directly with her."
Police were shocked to discover bags of marijuana throughout the house, along with two guns. However, the $300,000 in cash hidden under a bed was perhaps the most surprising discovery.
"I raised the mattress up and there was money," Floyd said. "Our intelligence didn't say that she had cash, just product."
According to Floyd, the Mayes family had been in operation for nearly two decades.
"From everything I've gathered, they're going to be looking for a new supplier in the area," he said of the community's drug-ring leaders.
Darlene Mayes faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, and keeping a home where drugs were kept and sold. If convicted, she faces a severe fine and jail time.
"She knew exactly what she was doing and exactly who she's profiting from," Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics told The Daily. "She's old enough to know what she's doing and know that she's responsible for her actions," he added.
The money found in the raid will be divided among the Craig County Sheriff's Office, Vinita Police Department and the Craig County District Attorney's office in order to combat drug sales.
"It helps with the equipment," Floyd told kjrh.com. "It helps send my guys to proper schooling. We do a lot of continuing education, and we really focus on drug interdiction. By ourselves, we can do the job. But when we are together, we are really strong and efficient," he explained.