19 indicted in Oklahoma drug trafficking investigation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors say 19 people have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in Oklahoma City.

Officials said Wednesday 17 of the defendants in the indictments have been arrested following an investigation in which 14 search warrants were executed and firearms, illegal drugs and cash was seized.

The indictments allege that since December 2015 each defendant has been a member of a conspiracy to distribute kilogram and pound quantities of heroin and methamphetamine from California, Nevada, Mexico, Texas and elsewhere for re-distribution in the Oklahoma City area.

The defendants were arrested Tuesday following searches in Oklahoma and Nevada. Charges include conspiracy and multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute, using a telephone to facilitate a drug felony and maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing drugs.

Prosecutors seek death sentence in Oklahoma deputy's death

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors are asking jurors to return a death sentence for a man convicted of shooting an Oklahoma sheriff's deputy to death.

The sentencing phase of the trial of 47-year-old Nathan LeForce began Wednesday, a day after jurors convicted him of first-degree murder in the April 18, 2017, shooting death of 40-year-old Logan County Deputy David Wade. Wade was fatally wounded while serving an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City.

LeForce was also convicted on charges of larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery. Jurors recommended sentences of 30 years and 37 years respectively.

LeForce faces sentences of death or life in prison on the murder charge. Defense attorneys plan to call more than 25 witnesses during the sentencing phase of LeForce's trial.

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Oklahoma woman charged with racist vandalism hospitalized

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A woman charged with spray-painting racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic graffiti on the county Democratic Party's offices, an art center and an elementary school in Norman, Oklahoma, was hospitalized for medical and mental health treatment.

Court documents show that on Aug. 1, 45-year-old Allison Johnson was ordered to be taken to a hospital because "of a possible danger to (her) health." The order, which was first reported on by The Oklahoman, says Johnson will be returned to the Cleveland County jail in Norman when she's released.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Joy Hampton said Wednesday that federal privacy laws prevented her from saying whether Johnson had been returned to jail.

Johnson is charged with damaging a sculpture and spray-painting graffiti, including swastikas and racial slurs.

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Ex-OKC councilman pleads guilty to not filing tax returns

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma City councilman accused of not filing state income tax returns for nine years has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of failing to file income tax returns.

Oklahoma County court records indicate 36-year-old John Pettis Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday and received a five-year deferred sentence. Pettis was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and court costs.

Pettis resigned from the council in May 2018 shortly after he was charged with three counts of felony embezzlement and one count of failing to file tax returns for the years 2009 to 2017. Pettis was accused of taking at least $165,000 from charities under his control, but prosecutors dismissed the embezzlement counts in May.

Prosecutors say he has paid all back taxes and filed all past-due tax returns.

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