United States Attorney R. Trent Shores announced that Slint Kenneth Tate, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, at a hearing before District Judge Claire V. Eagan, on June 7, 2018. The parties entered into a plea agreement recommending a sentence of 20 years imprisonment. Tate’s sentencing is September 11, 2018.
Tate orchestrated a drug distribution ring using cell phones within the Oklahoma State Prison while serving a sentence of life without parole. The drug distribution ring involved the distribution of several kilograms of methamphetamine in Miami and throughout northeastern Oklahoma.
United States Attorney Shores stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to combating criminal enterprises operating within the Oklahoma prison system. The use of contraband cellular telephones enable drug organizations to conduct significant conspiratorial activity while conspirators are inside the prison system. This is unacceptable. The message sent by this prosecution is clear: If you use a contraband telephone while in prison to conduct drug operations, we will investigate and prosecute you. We will recommend significant federal time in prison for you. And we will prosecute your coconspirators outside of prison who help facilitate the commission of these crimes.”
This matter was the result of a joint investigation by Homeland Security, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the District 13 Task Force, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Miami Police Department, and Grove Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Shannon Cozzoni and Catherine Depew prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of Oklahoma