- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged an Oklahoma State Penitentiary inmate and more than a dozen other people in a drug conspiracy involving the widespread distribution of meth in Oklahoma.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Muskogee announced federal indictments Thursday naming 17 people, including 35-year-old Cody McClendon of Tahlequah, an alleged Indian Brotherhood gang member currently housed at the state prison in McAlester.

Prosecutors allege McClendon used a contraband cellphone from inside the prison to coordinate the meth distribution ring. Those indicted are accused of promoting a “climate of fear through threats of violence” to protect and expand the drug operation.

McClendon’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The defendants are mostly from Tahlequah as well as Checotah, Hulbert, Kellyville, Muskogee, Stilwell and Tulsa.

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