Darlene Mayes: Shocking New Details in Oklahoma Ganja Granny Case

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

If you want to make it as a writer in Hollywood, you have to hone your ideas into "elevator pitches," short descriptive bursts that can intrigue the big cigars between floors in office buildings.

The case of Darlene Mayes is an easy one: Weeds meets Breaking Bad meets Golden Girls, with a Shakespearean betrayal to close Season One.

Police in Vinita, Oklahoma, say that Mayes, a 73-year-old retired Department of Human Services worker, had been peddling God's green to the good folks in the Ozark foothills for about six or seven years and amounted to something of a Queenpin. In a raid last week, police seized four pounds of pot, two handguns, and almost $277,000 in vacuum-sealed garbage bags from her home. Cops later said they believed she was the supplier of about 40 percent of the pot in Tulsa and the Missouri-Arkansas-Kansas-Oklahoma Quad State area.

In the aftermath of the raid, Vinita police chief Bobby Floyd said, "It was an extreme wow moment," which makes us wonder if he might have been among that 40 percent, man.

And it turns out Mayes could have kept right on reddening eyes, cottoning mouths and fostering munchies in Vinita's great big ol' McDonald's on the Will Rogers Turnpike were it not for the squealings of a snitch most foul.

Namely, her 42-year-old son Jerry Van Dorsey.

According to court documents filed in Craig County, Dorsey was angry at his mama for cutting him out of the weed operation he claimed to have initiated. He allegedly admitted to police that she did so because he was addicted to meth.

He was also mad because he believed that Mayes had hornswoggled him out of his horse trailer.

As a Tulsa World commenter put it, "A pot dealing grandma and a meth addict son in a squabble over a horse trailer. Only in Oklahoma."

Or as that good ol' boy Billy Joe Shakespeare might have written, "My queendom for a dadgum horse trailer!"

According to an affidavit reported in the Tulsa World, Mayes's arrest followed that of Dorsey, who was busted the day before her with two pounds of weed he said he stole from his mother after breaking into her house.

He went on to spill all the other details: how he got her started by introducing her to his Arizona connects and how they later soured.

Mayes's attorney Josh Lee maintains that Dorsey is the true bad actor in this case. In an e-mail to The Daily, he had this to say: "Mrs. Mayes is a 73-year-old retired state employee who had never been arrested in her life until this incident. At the worst, Mrs. Mayes is guilty of loving and trying to help her son Jerry Van Dorsey."

Be that as it may, Mayes is charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute, maintaining a dwelling where drugs are kept or sold, and firearm possession in commission of a felony.

Dorsey is also charged with pot-dealing, and a couple of lesser charges, but with the World putting all the details of his snitchery out there for mama and those shadowy Arizonans to see, we're wondering if the law might be least among his worries right about now.

So, on to casting. We're thinking Sissy Spacek for Mayes, and maybe that guy who played Uncle Teardrop in Winter's Bone for Dorsey. And what the hell, let's make Reba McEntire the spunky cop who takes them both down.

Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.