TX: 22 indicted in multi-county drug trafficking ring connected to Mexican Cartel

Operation Long Reach – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office began the investigation in October of 2019.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office announced the indictment of 22 people in a massive methamphetamine trafficking ring Thursday.

Dubbed “Operation Long Reach” the investigation began in October, 2019, according to Sheriff Justin Caraway.

“When we started seeing the untold the amounts of methamphetamine that were being trafficked to our area, it was our responsibility to to follow that up the food chain the best we could, and go after the top players,” Caraway said.

Caraway said the ring stretched across multiple counties including Erath, Hamilton, Comanche, Hill, Bosque, Tarrant, Dallas, Bexar and Hood.

“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 Caraway.

It should be noted that five other Defendants were federally indicted directly linked to Operation Long Reach within other Agencies criminal investigations. Information from the HCSO’s investigation was used to help sentence those individuals as well.

“Luck had a lot to do with how things fell in place for us,” Caraway added. “That can sometimes be hard to get done in investigations.”

Liquid methamphetamine was smuggled into the U.S. and transported to the Dallas Fort Worth area. It was converted into crystal methamphetamine and sold in kilogram quantities, according to Caraway.

Investigators spent more than 200 hours conducting interviews. Much of their investigation focused on social media transcripts of conversations between drug traffickers, dealers and users, Caraway said.

“And then we were able to receive all of those documents back, all the drafts, all the messages that they had sent out to everybody, trying to either purchase methamphetamine  or discuss distribution and process,” Caraway said.

The defendants were directly linked to the Mexican Cartel, Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Aryan Circle, Tango Blast and Bloods criminal street gangs.

 “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.”

The list of defendants includes the following:

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

If convicted each defendant can be sentenced to not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment, a fine not exceeding $10 million, or both; supervised release of at least five years.

Operation Long Reach found the defendants were responsible for the distribution of a minimum of 500 kilograms of methamphetamine (1,100 pounds) with a street dealer value in excess of 24 million dollars, according to Caraway.

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Tags: Drug Trafficking DTO

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