10 Arrested in Stephens County Armed Robberies of Marijuana Grow Farms, Murder in Okfuskee County

by Toni Hopper
Suspects in custody on armed robbery, murder charges related to marijuana grow farms in Stephens County. Photo is from the OSBI official Facebook page. Suspects in custody on armed robbery, murder charges related to marijuana grow farms in Stephens County. Photo is from the OSBI official Facebook page.

Several armed robberies have occurred in Stephens County since August 2023. Some of the places were targeted multiple times. Victims suffered personal injury and many of the robberies were violent. In addition to being assaulted, they also suffered property damage and loss of property. This occurred over the following five months since the first one in August. Five individuals have been arrested and charged for the armed robberies. One of those is also charged with the murder of a man near Castle, OK. Another five were also arrested.

On Jan. 7, Stephens County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) learned of a robbery and homicide in Okfuskee County. Undersheriff Rick Lang said it appeared to have the same mode of operation as the robberies in Stephens County. All these crimes had a common denominator. They were all legal marijuana grow farms, Asian owned and operated. Lang said all the victims and grow farm operators are here legally.

The suspects struck again here in the county on Jan. 27 and the sheriff's responded to another armed robbery home invasion that was like all those in the previous months. SCSO contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) for investigative assistance."

"Lt. Tim Vann, who was leading the investigation, with the help of Investigator’s Leslie Richardson and Daniel Picazzo as well as multiple Stephens County Deputies, was able to gather information and link our robberies to the robbery in Okfuskee County," Lang said on Friday. "Several were very violent." 

During the investigation after the Jan. 27 home invasion here in Stephens County, several suspects were identified. The first of many arrests were made March 7 by OSBI special agents, Stephens County investigators, Texas Rangers, the Waco Police Department, and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Police Department. Arrested in Texas were Yi Lee, 50, Justin Stewart, 31, Artist Stewart, 36, Ricky Harris, 45, and Timothy Evans, 29. Andre Dawson, 35, was arrested several days later. These individuals were all charged in connection to the Stephens County robbery of Jan. 27.

But several individuals were still to be caught. On April 24, OSBI special agents, the United States Marshals Service, and the Oklahoma City Police Department arrested Dillon Alexander Brown, 24, Isavier Dawkins, 18, Holland Jeremy Mason, 38, and Kayla Lanette Green, 23, all of Oklahoma City, in connection with the robbery and homicide that took place in Okfuskee County here in Oklahoma. These four and Lee are all charged with murder in the 1st degree, conspiracy and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Lang said that the crimes were a coordinated planned operation. It involved multiple-states and communities. He cited Houston, Waco, Dallas, Oklahoma City and New York. There is also an 11th individual who is in custody in Texas on unrelated charges. None of the individuals lived in Stephens County.

"The Stephens County Sheriff’s Department has been able to improve our response to these types of crimes by analyzing the modes of operation of the suspects and the data

gathered through the investigations," Lang said. He also said that most of the crimes were committed in Stephens County.

"Lt. Tim Vann deserves all the credit, he was the lead investigator and he is one of the best I've ever worked with. He's been on this since last August. We got a real break on this investigation. It has been one of our priority cases." 

Vann was not able to attend the press announcement on Friday, as he was testifying in Stephens County District Course in the murder trial of Karen Pritchard. 

Details of Jan. 7 murder 

Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Office requested the OSBI to assist with a homicide. Earlier that morning, Okfuskee County deputies responded to a property near State Highway 48 and East 1020 Road near Castle, Oklahoma. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered 53-year-old Harry Dam, deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.

Other victims were found to be physically assaulted. OSBI special agents immediately began collecting information from the scene and determined that the property was a legal marijuana grow site and that multiple suspects had forced entry onto the property.

This investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the OSBI at tips@osbi.ok.gov or 1-800-522-8017.

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