22 in central, north Texas indicted on federal meth trafficking charges
Cell “directly tied” to Mexican drug cartels, investigators say
HAMILTON COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday announced “Operation Long Reach” led to the federal indictment of 22 individuals, most from Central Texas, in a methamphetamine trafficking scheme allegedly responsible for the distribution of more than 1,000 pounds of meth with a street dealer value in excess of $24 million.
“This cell was tied directly to Mexican Drug Cartels,” investigators said.
In October of 2019, the sheriff’s office identified the alleged criminal enterprise operating within the Texas counties of Erath, Hamilton, Comanche, Hill, Bosque, Tarrant, Dallas, Bexar, and Hood.
PHOTO GALLERY: Names and photos of the 22 individuals indicted
Investigators working undercover began purchasing methamphetamine from the alleged traffickers in order to build a criminal case. An investigation revealed the methamphetamine was being sold and transported within Hamilton County, and surrounding counties, was directly tied to a criminal organization with ties to Dallas, Texas and Mexico.
Liquid methamphetamine was being smuggled into the United States and transported to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The methamphetamine was later converted to crystal methamphetamine and sold in kilogram quantities, the sheriff’s office said.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division returned an indictment for the following individuals:
1) Ricky Castillo, 35, of Irving, Texas
2) Brandon Leon Kimberling, 25, of Dallas, Texas
3) Desiree Traxel, 25, of Dallas, Texas
4) Sandi Kristine Villicana, 33 of Arlington, Texas
5) Chad Anthony Hughes, 41, of Dallas, Texas
6) Kevin Priesley Srader, 33, of Hamilton, Texas
7) Kristin Nicole O’Dell, 33, of Stephenville, Texas
8) Justin Scott Allbright, 35, of Stephenville, Texas
9) Michael Brandon Downey, of Stephenville, Texas
10) Sandra Fay Rhodes, 33, of Hico, Texas
11) Cathlene Cecile Callahan, 35, of Hico, Texas
12) Jeffrey Don Champion, 36, of Stephenville, Texas
13) James Edwin Smith, 43, of Stephenville, Texas
14) Dustie Lee Been, 22, of Stephenville, Texas
15) Cassandra Bower, 37, of Dallas, Texas
16) Genna Ann Long, 47, of Stephenville, Texas
17) Lyndon Kale Coker, 42, of Hico, Texas
18) Jerry DeWayne Knight, 30, of Stephenville, Texas
19) Kendon “Keno” DaWayne Baker, 34, of Stephenville, Texas
20) Lois Ann Srader, 41, of Stephenville, Texas
21) Claud Thomas Taylor, 42, of Stephenville, Texas
22) Megan Diane Cameron, 24, of Stephenville, Texas
Investigators conducted more than 200 hours of interviews and hundreds of hours of surveillance during the investigation. They also combed more than a 100,000 pages of social media transcripts of conversations between alleged drug traffickers, dealers and users.
In addition to being “directly linked” to Mexican drug cartel traffickers, the defendants also have ties to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Aryan Circle, Tango Blast, and the Bloods Criminal Street Gangs, investigators said.
The 22 individuals were indicted on charges of “knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to manufacture and distribute 500 grams or more or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and 50 grams of more of methamphetamine,” the sheriff’s office said.
If convicted, each defendant can be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine not exceeding $10 million.
“This was a great effort to stop the flow of narcotics to our rural communities and sends a message to those who may try to deal meth in the future in Hamilton County,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Justin Caraway.
“The investigation continues with more arrests still to come. We feel there are more Defendants still tied to this criminal enterprise and we will not stop until each one is brought to justice.”
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