State prosecutors presented their opening statement to a jury Tuesday morning in a conspiracy drug trafficking case dating back to 2016.
Russ Cochran, attorney for the Oklahoma Department of Narcotics, alleged that Eric Jerome Jackson and a consortium of individuals willingly took steps to traffic controlled dangerous substances — more than 450 grams of methamphetamine — during a period in which Jackson was incarcerated in the state penitentiary in Hominy.
Cochran alleged that Jackson facilitated the sale of narcotics through co-conspirators both incarcerated and free citizens, using a cell phone to “conduct business.”
“Jackson had a business,” Cochran said. “It wasn’t making widgets or growing crops, but he had a source, he had a supply chain and he had distributors… he wasn’t running his business through a storefront, he was trafficking in meth. He wasn’t in Ardmore at the time, he ran his business from behind the walls of a correction facility.”
During his opening statement, Cochran alleged that Jackson’s role in the conspiracy was linking alleged suppliers that were incarcerated with alleged distributors on the street, adding that the evidence he planned to present wasn’t obtained from a “snitch or an informant but from wiretaps.” Evidence he said led to the arrest of an alleged co-conspirator in possession of nearly a pound of meth.
Jackson’s attorney declined to present an opening case.
The prosecutor’s first witness, an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics officer, said he had personally made several indirect purchases of narcotics through the defendant and others prior to launching a larger investigation.
The agent alleged that a cell phone believed to be in Jackson’s possession while he was incarcerated had been “very busy,” to which the prosecutor claimed more than 1,000 text messages and 1,000 voice calls had been obtained as evidence.
The trial is expected to continue through today.