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September 3, 2009

Law enforcement agents make arrests in Harper County drug bust

The normal hush of the hard working community of Laverne was shattered late Wednesday morning by the blast of a flash bang device and the whirl overhead of a tactical helicopter in the largest scale drug bust to ever take place in the region.

According to Harper County Sheriff Marty Drew, it is the beginning of even more of the same kind of operation in an effort to crack down on drug crimes there.

At a few minutes past 10 a.m., law enforcement officers and agents from Harper County, District One Drug Task Force, Beaver County, Ellis County, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Texas County stormed the home of 50-year-old Vincent Friis and two other homes in Laverne.

Friis’ home was located down the street from Laverne Elementary and High School, prompting - said Harper County officials who led the investigation - a temporary lock down.

“We wanted to avoid any school children from wandering past since it was clear to us that there were some firearms in that home too,” Undersheriff and lead investigator Derek Seevers said. “That was precisely why we waited until later in the morning to conduct this raid because there are also children living in the home and we wanted no children present.”

All of the homes are allegedly linked to the same drug ring that sparked the nearly two month long sting operation in which more than 20 controlled buys of methamphetamine were made within four weeks. The sting was carried out with the assistance of four confidential informants and undercover agents.

There was also a warrant served on one home in Buffalo belonging to 48-year-old Teri Bair -also allegedly linked to Friis’ suspected distribution ring. According to Harper County officers who conducted the sting, Bair was not at home when officers approached her home Wednesday morning. But she was later apprehended at the home of her parents who live north of Selman. Bair was arrested for allegedly selling drugs from her place of employment - The Harper County Journal - which is within 2,000 feet of a church as well as a day care, according to court documents.

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