An Ottawa County woman and her common-law husband, a convicted murderer, appeared in federal court this week and were sentenced in a methamphetamine ring that was raking in up to $1 million dollars a week.
Robin Tracy Zumwalt, 36, pleaded guilty to using a cellphone to conduct illegal drug transactions and on Wednesday, Sept. 12, received a three-year probation sentence for her role in the Slint Tate drug distribution conspiracy ring. She must also serve eight months of home detention.
Zumwalt was initially charged with drug conspiracy, two counts of maintaining a drug house, possession of a sawed-off shotgun and five counts of using a cellphone to conduct illegal drug sales. Those charges were dismissed as a condition of the plea agreement.
U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan order probation after court documents filed showed no prior criminal history.
Slint Tate, 36, was sentenced on Tuesday and received an additional 20 years to his no-parole life sentence. He used cellphones smuggled into the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and ran the million-dollar drug ring from behind bars.
Zumwalt and Tate have publicly referred to each other as husband and wife.
Zumwalt, Tate, along with Rachael Georgia Danley, Ashton Chase Manicom, Jeremy Dallas Mann, Matthew Ray Stroud, and Todd Allen Pryer, were federally indicted in Sept. 2017 and later pleaded guilty to a wide range of drug-related offenses.
“This drug trafficking organization wreaked havoc in the lives of many in northeastern Oklahoma,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a prepared statement.
Zumwalt and her co-conspirators earned the punishments received, he said.
”This prosecution was successful because of strong partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement officials,” Shores said.
The drug ring, when busted in May 2016, faced drug, weapon, trafficking, and conspiracy charges in Delaware and Ottawa County District Courts and were referred to by authorities as the “Slint Tate Drug Ring.”
Of the 28 defendants charged in Ottawa County District Court, 27 individuals have received suspended sentences, probation, charges dismissed, incarcerated in the state Department of Corrections or their cases were moved to federal court and others incarcerated at a federal correctional facility, records show.
The remaining defendant, Dinah Williams, 52, is to appear on Friday, Sept. 14, in Ottawa County District Court.
“The sentencing of Slint Tate and Robin Zumwalt demonstrates how effective the administration of justice can be with true partnership between the United States Attorney’s Office and the myriad of state and federal law enforcement agencies,” said District Attorney Kenny Wright.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores has made northeast Oklahoma safer, he said.
“Our own drug task force and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control did a fantastic job uncovering this drug trafficking organization and calling on federal law enforcement for assistance,” Wright said.
Wright said he could not begin to estimate the amount of time and effort expended during the investigation and dozens of prosecutions conducted by the federal agency and his office.
Tate is serving a life sentence for the 1999 shooting death of Vernie Milford Roberts, a Delaware County reserve sheriff’s deputy. He was 16 at the time of the fatal shooting.