In the 1990s, each agent assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) field office in Oklahoma City (OKC) specialized in a particular narcotic. One agent was responsible for tracking down meth chefs, another, marijuana smugglers from Mexico. One of the five agents focused on heroin, and another on cocaine. Crack was handled by Special Agent Kevin Waters, a Nebraska native who, in 1995, had already spent a few years with the agency.

On April 18, 1995, Kevin and his partner, Jimmy, made one of the biggest crack cocaine busts in the OKC field office’s history. The pair had initially been working a small-time supplier but had bypassed him and gone straight to the source, a man named Stutson who had an accomplice named Oscar Traylor. The two agents bought a kilo of crack in an undercover operation. Once the deal was done, Waters arrested the man and his accomplice and brought the men to the Oklahoma City jail, which at the time sat only a few blocks from the DEA field office in the Alfred P. Murrah building.

The reflection pond at the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. In April of 1995, the building would have begun where the glass wall sits today. Photo by Joseph Lafave for NEWSREP.

“There were these two guys who had to have charges filed on them—you know, affidavits and stuff,” said Waters. “It was getting late, and I wanted to get home before my wife left for work at 10:30. Jimmy was already down at the police department, and I was in the office working on the arrest forms. I told Jimmy I wanted to get out of there and I headed down to my car in the parking garage after I grabbed the form 202 and a camera and a couple of fingerprint cards.”

The parking garage, which is still there today, lets out onto Harvey Ave. In 1995, Harvey Ave was a one-way street running north. Waters used his clunky ID badge to open to the garage door, which operated on rollers and was very slow. Waters was standing next to the door, waiting for it to open. As the door got about halfway up, Waters saw two cars parked directly in front of the garage. One was an ’89 black or blue Pontiac Grand Am and the other was a “big boat piece of shit” Mercury Marquis. Two men were sitting in the Marquis, and when they saw Waters, they began to stare at him intensely.