Seventy-three-year-old Oklahoma drug dealer Darlene Mayes was busted this week when police uncovered four pounds of pot and $276,000 in Mayes’ home.
Mayes initially claimed that the money was for her retirement fund but the police didn’t buy it. Police found the cash stashed in $15,000 bundles and said Mayes was packing a semiautomatic pistol and a revolver.
According to investigators, Mayes drug dealing spanned across four states including Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. Referred to as the “mastermind” of the operation, police believe Mayes supplied 40 percent of the weed in the area and had a network of dealers including her son Jerry who was also arrested.
Mayes is not the first grandma kingpin to have her operation shut down by the cops. In the United Kingdom, 68-year-old Patricia Tabram, dubbed the cannabis grandm, was charged with intent to supply after authorities say they found a marijuana farm in her home. An elderly couple were caught selling prescription drugs and 83-year-old Francis Cook may be Britain’s oldest drug dealer.
Law enforcement Brad Garrett said senior citizens can sometimes be the most efficient drug dealers because no one expects it.
“It doesn’t surprise me that someone this age would be actively involved in marijuana distribution because there’s just too much money to be made,” Garrett said. “If they keep a low profile, they don’t talk to many people, and they don’t get greedy, they can go on for years.”
Authorities had been watching Mayes and her family months before the bust. They believe Mayes has been running the drug operation for over two decades. Mayes faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, and keeping a home where drugs were kept and sold. If convicted, she’ll have to pay a severe fine and serve time in jail.