A 73-year-old Oklahoma grandmother has been busted on charges that she ran a lucrative drug operation that supplied marijuana to drug dealers in four states.
Police said they found about four pounds (1.8kg) of pot, a semiautomatic pistol and a revolver, and more than $276,000 in cash when they raided Darlene Mayes’ home in rural Craig County.
Investigators say the elderly woman supplied about 40 percent of the pot circulating in the area, including the city of Tulsa and parts of nearby Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.
“That was quite a surprise,” Bobby Floyd, police chief for the city of Vinita, told The Daily Thursday.
He said authorities had been investigating the drug ring for several years. They only learned the identity of the kingpin around noon local time Monday.
Several hours later, they searched the home and arrested Mayes.
“She is in very good shape for her age,” Floyd said.
The drug ring was a family affair, police said. Mayes’ son, Jerry Dorsey, was arrested Monday on charges of possession with intent to distribute. He was carrying nearly two pounds (0.9kg) of pot, as well as drug paraphernalia and $2,100 in cash, and driving with a suspended license, authorities said.
Dorsey was one of his mother’s many dealers, Floyd said.
“From what we gathered, there were people running around selling for her,” he said. “Nobody dealt directly with her.”
Mayes kept her supply in her bedroom, which stank of marijuana, Floyd said. But the big surprise was the huge amount of cash hidden in the bedroom.
“I raised the mattress up and there was money,” Floyd said. “Our intel didn’t say that she had cash, just product.”
Under the box spring was a vacuum-sealed bundle of bills, labeled: “$15,000.” In fact, when officers counted, the total was $15,020.
In the guest bedroom where Mayes’ grandchildren slept when they visited, police found more vacuum-sealed wads, totaling around $200,000, Floyd said.
More cash was found in the bed of her pickup truck, he said. All told, officers seized $276,580.
Mayes first tried to tell officers that the money was her retirement fund, Floyd said. He said Mayes may have been trafficking marijuana for as long as two decades.
Mayes faces charges including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, maintaining a dwelling where drugs are kept or sold, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.