MIAMI, Okla. - A boy and girl, both 17 and living together without parental supervision, have been arrested on suspicion of operating a marijuana distribution ring in Miami whose customers were primarily other juveniles.

Chris Morris, director of the District Attorney's Drug Task Force, said Friday that three of the couple's "distributors," all 16-year-old boys, were arrested two weeks ago. Those arrests were not announced at the time because investigators were still compiling evidence against the suppliers.

The names of those involved are not being released because they are minors.

Morris said the couple of 17-year-olds were living in the home where the girl had resided with her mother, who left the area some time ago.

The couple and their three distributors were students at Miami High School. Morris said sales occurred at locations all over town, "but probably included sales on the school grounds."

According to Morris, the couple were obtaining the marijuana at about one pound at a time from a source in Tulsa. An investigation into the distribution ring is continuing, he said, both in Tulsa and locally.

"We expect to make some more arrests involving adults," he said.

Morris said the couple would divide their one-pound purchases into half- and quarter-ounce baggies, which they supplied to the distributors. The distributors sold the pot at prices ranging from $25 to $50 a quarter-ounce.

The male supplier would then go around collecting the profits, giving the distributors a share.

Morris said when task-force officers served a search warrant at the couple's house earlier this week only about a quarter-ounce of marijuana was found.

"We had reliable information that they had very recently made a buy in Tulsa, so that's how fast the product was moving," he noted.

The couple and their distributors were placed in custody of the Oklahoma Juvenile Justice system. The male subject was transferred to a juvenile detention center outside the area and the girl is being held in the Ottawa County jail in separate quarters from other inmates. Their bonds have been initially set at $75,000 each.

Source: The Joplin Globe
Author: Gary Garton
Published: 6/26/04
Copyright: 2004 The Joplin Globe Publishing Company