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Feds: Irish mob selling drugs from behind prison walls

From left to right: Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts. The four are ringleaders within the Irish Mob gang.
From left to right: Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts. The four are ringleaders within the Irish Mob gang.

The incarcerated ringleaders of the Irish Mob gang used prepaid debit cards and online money transfers to launder drug money and receive tens of thousands of dollars in payments behind prison walls, according to new federal charges filed in the case.

Gang leaders Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, 36; Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, 33; Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown, 29; and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts, 39, instructed drug dealers and enforcers to use prepaid debit cards and the online money transfer service PayPal to deposit proceeds from drug sales, according to a new, 50-count indictment filed Jan. 13 in Oklahoma City federal court.

"The individuals then had those additional conspirators provide them with the authorization numbers, thereby allowing them to, in effect, receive cash in the prison system," the indictment alleges.

A multiagency criminal inquiry spanning years has so far resulted in 28 people being criminally charged in connection to the Irish Mob drug ring, believed to be responsible for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin in Oklahoma City. So far, 15 people have pleaded guilty to some form of federal drug charges in the case.

The ringleaders, including Coker and Brown, used cellphones smuggled into Oklahoma prisons to coordinate drug deals, arrange purchases and sales of drugs, as well as to receive prepaid debit card and internet payments, according to the indictment.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says the agency is constantly trying to improve its processes for keeping cellphones and other contraband out of state prisons. "It's a constant battle that we fight every day," she said.

The agency recently started using a police dog named "Riley," certified in cellphone detection, to sniff out contraband cellphones in Oklahoma prisons. Two more cellphone- sniffing dogs are already in training, Watkins said.

The Department of Corrections has also invested in sensitive metal detectors that can detect cellphones.

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In the past year, the department's strike force has confiscated 303 cellphones and 541 cellphone chargers, Watkins said.

Federal investigators have used wiretaps to learn much about how the Irish Mob's criminal enterprise works.

The investigation into the Irish Mob is still ongoing. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents filed new search warrants earlier this month to search multiple cellphones and other electronic devices seized from defendants in the case.

Coker was defiant in 2016 after one of his couriers was arrested with heroin at an Oklahoma City hotel room, according to one call transcript, portions of which are included in an application for a search warrant filed Jan. 17.

"We be all right (expletive). It ain't nothing." Coker told Brown in an intercepted phone call, records show. "These (expletives) won't never be able to stop us."

The incarcerated ring leaders would use their cellphones to arrange drug deals with their couriers using code words such as "pizza" for a pound of methamphetamine and "rack" for $1,000, according to court documents.

To compensate their drug couriers, as well as other members of the conspiracy acting on their behalf, the incarcerated leaders of the Irish Mob gang, known as Sinn Fein, would give the couriers drugs, or give them a wholesale price on larger quantities of drugs to sell for their own profit, according to the indictment.

The Irish Mob is just one of several gangs responsible for drug trafficking in Oklahoma City, including a few believed to have ties to Mexican drug cartels, said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control.

Unlike other gangs, associates of the Irish Mob enter prison to get affiliated with the gang instead of becoming involved in gang activity and later ending up in prison, Woodward said.

"It's kind of the opposite of other gangs," he said. "The Irish Mob is just a group of people who meet for the first time in prison. It's more of an inside-the-prison gang than an outside street gang."

One of the men alleged in the indictment to be an Irish Mob drug courier, Zane Yargee, 22, of Tulsa, is charged with first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in Tulsa County District Court. Yargee is accused of shooting two unarmed men riding bicycles during a street argument in June.

The charges accuse Yargee of killing 20-year-old Dusten Levi Fuentes, with a bullet to the head, as well as shooting another cyclist in the leg.

In one intercepted phone call, Potts, who is Yargee's uncle, bragged about the killing to another drug courier.

"They're (expletive) killers," Potts bragged, court records show. "All them (expletive) bodies that are happening in Tulsa, there they are."

Related Photos
<p><span class="bold">Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson</span> </p>

Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson  

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson   " title=" Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson   "><figcaption> Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson   </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown   " title=" Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown   "><figcaption> Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown   </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker  " title=" Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker  "><figcaption> Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker  </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts  " title=" Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts  "><figcaption> Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts  </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Zane P. Yargee  " title=" Zane P. Yargee  "><figcaption> Zane P. Yargee  </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - From left to right: Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts. The four are ringleaders within the Irish Mob gang." title="From left to right: Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts. The four are ringleaders within the Irish Mob gang."><figcaption>From left to right: Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson, Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown and Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts. The four are ringleaders within the Irish Mob gang.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Chad Nathan Hudson" title="Chad Nathan Hudson"><figcaption>Chad Nathan Hudson</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Christopher P. Brown" title="Christopher P. Brown"><figcaption>Christopher P. Brown</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Gary Holden Schneider" title="Gary Holden Schneider"><figcaption>Gary Holden Schneider</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Amanda Donna Louise Benton" title="Amanda Donna Louise Benton"><figcaption>Amanda Donna Louise Benton</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Daryl Lloyd Ivey" title="Daryl Lloyd Ivey"><figcaption>Daryl Lloyd Ivey</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Ciara Rain Dickerson" title="Ciara Rain Dickerson"><figcaption>Ciara Rain Dickerson</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Margie Lee Barnhill" title="Margie Lee Barnhill"><figcaption>Margie Lee Barnhill</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Melissa Dawn Cooper" title="Melissa Dawn Cooper"><figcaption>Melissa Dawn Cooper</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Niko Deandre Davis" title="Niko Deandre Davis"><figcaption>Niko Deandre Davis</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Randy Lynn Nichols" title="Randy Lynn Nichols"><figcaption>Randy Lynn Nichols</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Richard Joseph" title="Richard Joseph"><figcaption>Richard Joseph</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Richard Lee Potts" title="Richard Lee Potts"><figcaption>Richard Lee Potts</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Takelia Troupe" title="Takelia Troupe"><figcaption>Takelia Troupe</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Tyron Lance Baker" title="Tyron Lance Baker"><figcaption>Tyron Lance Baker</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Zane P. Yargee" title="Zane P. Yargee"><figcaption>Zane P. Yargee</figcaption></figure>
Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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