Drug Traffickers Arrested, Two Fugitives Sought
|FBI Oklahoma City December 01, 2011|
OKLAHOMA CITY—Oklahoma City Police Department Chief William Citty and James E. Finch, Special Agent in Charge of the Oklahoma City Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announce the arrest of eight individuals charged with aggravated drug trafficking. Mario Alvarez Espinoza, 29 years of age; Chris Edwin Thrift, 50 years of age; Jose Alfredo Sanchez-Higuera, also known as “Chi Chi,” 48 years of age; Saul Sanchez, 27 years of age; Jaime Torres, 45 years of age; and Joe Bernard Curtis, 35 years of age all from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were arrested. Three other individuals were also arrested. In addition to the above arrests, eight search warrants were executed at various homes throughout Oklahoma City.
Today’s events are a culmination of a four-month investigation. The Oklahoma Metropolitan Safe Streets Gang Task Force received information about individuals selling large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine in Oklahoma City. Law enforcement developed enough information to obtain arrest and search warrants which were executed today. As a result of the searches, approximately 14 kilograms of cocaine, over seven pounds of methamphetamine, six firearms, and approximately $40,000 in cash were seized. The defendants charged today face a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The Oklahoma Metropolitan Safe Streets Gang Task Force is still searching for two individuals who were not located today. Eduardo Higuera-Sanchez, also known as “La Lo,” 47 years of age and Ventura Esquival-Ochoa, 54 years of age, both from Oklahoma City, are wanted for aggravated drug trafficking. Anyone with information of their whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at (405) 290-7770 or Oklahoma City Police Department at (405) 316-6830. Callers may remain anonymous.
The Oklahoma Metropolitan Safe Streets Gang Task Force is comprised of law enforcement officers and agents from the FBI, Oklahoma City Police Department, Midwest City Police Department, and Homeland Security. Today’s events would not have been possible without the assistance of the Oklahoma Metropolitan Fugitive Task Force, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. The public is reminded that these arrests are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.