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California drug kingpin convicted in Tulsa federal court claimed $30 million profit in criminal enterprise

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Weapons, cash and 231 pounds of methamphetamine worth $2 million are displayed after they were seized during an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Grove Police Department investigation in October 2020. The seizure is related to the federal charges against Luis Alfredo Jacobo of California, who has been found guilty of “directing a continuing criminal enterprise and organizing and directing at least three separate methamphetamine conspiracies in Oklahoma and Missouri,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A California man who oversaw the transport of more than 2,000 pounds of methamphetamine to Oklahoma and Missouri for distribution was convicted by a federal jury on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma announced.

Luis Alfredo Jacobo, 31, of Bakersfield, California, was found guilty of a continuing criminal enterprise, three counts of drug conspiracy and 21 counts of unlawful use of a communication facility, a news release states.

In the release, U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson attributed the conviction to the “dogged investigative work” of numerous partner law enforcement agencies involved in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation “Pullin Chains,” led by his office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The task force 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 multi-agency approach, the release states.

This investigation involved the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Miami (Oklahoma) Police Department, the Grove Police Department, Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County (California) Sheriff’s Office, The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Oklahoma District 13 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the release states.

Eduardo Chavez, a DEA special agent in charge who oversees Oklahoma operations, said Jacobo’s conviction serves as a message to drug traffickers who exploit those struggling with addiction to line the pockets of criminal organizations.

“Your days spent peddling drugs and spending dirty money will lead to nights spent in jail staring at the ceiling while you are held responsible for your actions,” Chavez said in a release.

Using Mexican sources of supply and Bakersfield as a base of operations, Jacobo managed more than 12 cohorts in California, northeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Missouri for more than five years in at least three drug conspiracies operating in and around the Northern District of Oklahoma, the release states.

From May 2016 to December 2018, one drug conspiracy operated in Bakersfield and later in and around Grove. A second drug conspiracy also worked out of Grove from September 2018 to August 2019, and a third drug conspiracy operated from September 2018 to March 2021 in and around Grove and southwestern Missouri.

In its closing argument, the government highlighted the sheer number of Jacobo’s co-conspirators who testified against him and repeated many of the same details about how his extensive drug business operated, including that he directed members of his organization to send cars packed full of methamphetamine to northeastern Oklahoma and cars packed full of money back to him in Bakersfield.

Jacobo claimed to have netted $30 million through the continuing criminal enterprise, Johnson said in the release.

Jocobo will be sentenced later.

Photojournalism by Tom Gilbert, Ian Maule, Stephen Pingry, Mike Simons and Daniel Shular from October 2022.

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