Drug task force arrests suspected drug dealers in Duncan
A Friday morning drug sweep netted six suspected Duncan drug dealers as the result of a lengthy cooperative law enforcement effort.
Duncan District Attorney Jason Hicks said the six arrested were targeted following a three-months-plus operation between his investigators and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics that centered on activity at Elm Terrace Apartments, 206 E. Elm. Friday morning's arrests were carried out with assistance from the Duncan Police Department and Stephens County Sheriff's Department.
"Things went really, really well," Hicks said. "It went as smooth as it could have been."
Investigators rounded up Richard Allan LaViolette, 34; William Patrick Chiumento, 33; Jimmie Lee Johnson Jr., 42; Eddie Joe Jernigan, 48; Breanna Marie Melton, 28; and Jimmy Shan, a.k.a. "Shane" Bates, 39. All six made court appearance Friday and were charged with multiple counts of distribution of controlled dangerous substances. Each faces a life sentence if convicted.
Hicks said information about the operation and ensuing bust were kept "sealed tight" until the raid was conducted. He said the bust included a couple of "high risk" targets who lived at the apartments.
According to the detailed court affidavits, the arrests followed multiple drug buys involving a confidential informant and agents from the Bureau of Narcotics and the District 6 district attorney's investigators. LaViolette is accused of conducting deals to sell one gram of methamphetamine and two ounces of marijuana on May 29, just under one gram of meth on June 3, one gram of meth on June 6; another gram on July 29; and -ounce of meth (he is alleged to have purchased from Johnson) on Aug. 5.
Chiumento's charges are from alleged drug deals beginning with the sale of 54 grams of marijuana on May 28, another two ounces of pot and a gram of meth (alleged to have been purchased from LaViolette) on May 29, and another involving the sale of a gram of meth, again, via LaViolette, on June 3 and 6, according to the affidavit.