Federal officials are investigating several large deposits made in local banks by a reputed member of a Mexican drug-smuggling cartel and the purchase of a 2,800-acre Oklahoma ranch, court documents show.
The investigation was prompted after a similar probe in Texas earlier this year linked a ranch near Stringtown in southeastern Oklahoma to Jose Leonard Contreras-Subias, who has Utah ties and is allegedly a member of the Rafael Carlos Quintero cartel in Mexico.That cartel has been linked to the 1985 torture-slaying of a Drug Enforcement Agency agent, and Contreras-Subias is a suspect in the 1984 slaying of Mexican police officers.
A man officials believe is Contreras-Subias was arrested April 1 in Salt Lake City and has been transferred to Los Angeles, where he faces felony drug charges filed in 1980.
Documents show the ranch, formerly owned by E.H. George, was sold in 1985 to Contreras-Subias for nearly $1 million. George said he received $500,000 down and the balance when the transaction was completed.
Federal agents described Contreras-Subias as one of the top 10 smugglers in Mexico. They allege he used money from his drug-smuggling schemes to finance the purchase and make large deposits in area banks.
Court documents also show Contreras-Subias deposited more than $3.5 million in three Oklahoma banks.
The Texas investigation revealed Contreras-Subias also was linked to a business in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, and the purchase of property in Parker, Texas.
No charges have been filed against Contreras-Subias in Oklahoma. FBI agents say a raid on the ranch earlier this month netted no drugs and no illegal weapons.
Contreras-Subias, who used the name "Jose Guillen" in his Oklahoma dealings, was known in several small towns near his ranch and caused no problems, local law-enforcement officers said.
Don Dingle, a chiropractor in Atoka, Okla., said Contreras-Subias often invited local residents to parties at the ranch.
Dingle said there was no trouble at the ranch and Contreras-Subias helped one of his employees burn a stand of marijuana found growing wild on the ranch.