Gang Directed Drug Trafficking Network Through Contraband Cell Phones from State Prison Cells

OKLAHOMA CITY – A multi-year investigation into a prison-based drug trafficking organization has resulted in 69 defendants being convicted across multiple state and federal cases.  The wrap-up of this investigation and prosecution is announced by United States Attorney Robert J. Troester.

Last month, the investigation culminated in the sentencing of Chance Alan Wilson, a/k/a Wolfhead, who was the leader of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood (UAB), a violent criminal organization that is primarily run from inside Oklahoma prisons.  Wilson, who was serving a state sentence of 15 years in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for Murder was sentenced to serve an additional 360 months in federal prison in December after being found to be primarily responsible for the distribution of hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine and other drugs over many years.

Wilson and other UAB members relied on a network of individuals operating outside of prison to handle the distribution of the methamphetamine.  Over the course of this investigation, federal, state and local law enforcement identified and targeted these individuals and the drug houses they ran on Wilson’s behalf.  Wilson ran the operation from inside prison using contraband cell phones.

In the end, 69 individuals associated with the UABs operations have been charged and convicted, in both state and federal court. Across those convictions, law enforcement seized 62 firearms, more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $400,000 in drug proceeds.   Collectively, the individuals charged federally have been sentenced to 418 years in custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 216 years of supervised release.  Crimes for which the defendants were convicted include drug trafficking, drug conspiracy, money laundering, maintaining drug premises and illegal firearms possession.

“This is another wide-spread drug trafficking operation that was primarily directed and controlled by incarcerated gang members using contraband cell phones from their state prison cells,” said United States Attorney Robert J. Troester.  “I am grateful for the outstanding work by law enforcement and prosecutors who have held these defendants accountable, removed deadly poison from the streets, and taken guns out of the hands of criminals.”

“Criminal gangs constitute a significant threat to public safety.  Yet, even while incarcerated, criminal gang members like Chance Wilson and his cohorts continue their money laundering and drug trafficking schemes,” said Robert Melton, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the HSI Dallas – Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle Division.  “This defendant’s lengthy prison sentence and indictments of 69 other co-conspirators exemplify Homeland Security Investigations and our partner agencies’ commitment to dismantling these criminal gangs and Transnational Criminal Organizations.”

“This multi-agency investigation demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement at all levels to disrupting criminal enterprises operating behind prison walls,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray.  “The citizens of Oklahoma are safer today because of the massive amount of methamphetamine, weapons, and drug proceeds removed from our communities.”

“The financial expertise of IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents are critical in detecting and tracing money laundering transactions of criminal organizations, exposing their profits,” said Christopher J. Altemus Jr., IRS-CI special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Office.  “In this case, CI special agents worked with federal and state agencies to expose the profits of the UAB and depriving them of the funds they needed to operate their criminal organization.  This joint effort demonstrates our resolve to serving our communities by investigating criminal activities that negatively impact everyday Americans”

This investigation was spearheaded by the Homeland Security Investigations, with valuable assistance by numerous other law enforcement partners, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oklahoma City Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma County District Attorneys’ Office, District 2 Drug Task Force, District 6 Drug Task Force and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Snyder and Jason Harley prosecuted these cases, with assistance from Paralegal Linda Nixon and Supervisory Paralegal Jennifer Rowe. 

These prosecutions were part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Reference is made to public filings for more information.