Federal prosecutors say 32 people have been charged in a Texas methamphetamine-running operation in nearly a dozen rural counties.
A criminal complaint unsealed Friday includes conspiracy and drug trafficking charges linked to a ring based in Stephenville, 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Investigators say 20 defendants were arrested Thursday, 11 are held on unrelated state charges and one suspect remains at large.
“These arrests illustrate the success of our District’s federal, state and local law enforcement partners’ collaboration in taking down these drug trafficking organizations — whether they operate in large communities, or in several rural counties as this one allegedly did,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña. “I commend the dedicated efforts of the DEA and the Stephenville Police Department, who led this OCDETF investigation, along with the Erath, Parker, Palo Pinto and Stephens County Sheriff’s Offices, the Erath County District Attorney’s Office, the Fort Worth and Weatherford Police Departments, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety.”
Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Stephenville police last December began the undercover meth trafficking investigation.
“Drug trafficking organizations are determined to spread their poison in an attempt to make a profit on the backs of addiction,” said Special Agent in Charge Salter. “Today, the DEA and our state and local partners have made a significant impact on these organizations operating in our rural counties. I am grateful for the efforts of our special agents, prosecutors, and law enforcement partners in dismantling this organization. Our law enforcement community is strong and together we are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe and drug free.”
The suspects allegedly were linked to distribution of hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine in Erath, Parker, Palo Pinto, Comanche, Eastland, Stephens, Hood, Hamilton, Somerville and Taylor counties.