The Norman Transcript

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April 8, 2010

17 reach plea deals in drug trafficking case

NORMAN — Five members of the Compton family and two others at the center of an OxyContin-trafficking case are scheduled to begin their jury trial May 10 at the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City, court records show.

Steve and Deborah Compton, owners of Compton’s Air Quality Experts in Norman, and three of the couple’s sons, Joshua, Jeremy and Zacharry, pleaded not guilty in January to charges they conspired to possess and distribute OxyContin.

Martha Phillips and Lindi Applegate, both of whom face similar drug charges, will be tried along with the Comptons, court records show.

Seventeen others arrested Dec. 11, 2009, in connection with the drug-trafficking operation have reached plea agreements with the federal government.

According to court records, Latasha Sullivan, Kathy Patterson, Charleda Skinner, David LeCrone, Timothy Wolf, Fares Bayazeed, Calvin Pressley, Rebecca Carter and Tommy Seeds entered plea agreements in January.

Other alleged associates, including Gary Simmons, James Ross, Ranita Largent, James Skinner, Timothy Carter, Donna Dady, Calvin Schwab and Matthew Palmer, reached plea agreements in February.

Records show the defendants who entered guilty pleas have agreed to assist the federal government in prosecuting the OxyContin-trafficking case.

The arrest of the Comptons and dozens of associates came after a yearlong investigation dubbed “Operation Pill Box,” which was launched when a confidential informant told Norman police that Joshua Compton had been selling large amounts of OxyContin in the area for years, calling him “the primary OxyContin dealer in Norman.”

The informant said the Comptons “sold OxyContin to at least 50 different people each month,” many times using the family business, 5450 Huettner Drive, to facilitate the drug-trafficking activities.

Andrew Knittle 366-3540 aknittle@normantranscript.com

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