SPD, Erath County Sheriff’s Office, DEA arrest 14; uncover drug trafficking organization.
Special to Beneath the Surface News
Fourteen suspects are in custody following an operation led by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, officers with the Stephenville Police Department and deputies with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspects were arrested on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges outlined in a criminal indictment filed Oct. 2.
The suspects were arrested Oct. 11 and made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery L. Cureton the following day.
The indictment charges 20 defendants with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute. Fourteen of those defendants have been arrested in the operation, two are in custody at various locations on unrelated state charges, and four have not yet been arrested.
The investigation began in December 2021 when the SPD and the ECSO began investigating the methamphetamine and heroin trafficking of the Dylan Wokaly Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and identified numerous individuals distributing or obtaining methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.
The investigation involved undercover purchases and search warrants and seized substantial amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and cash.
Law enforcement learned that the DTO, based in and around Fort Worth, was allegedly responsible for distributing hundreds of multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in Tarrant, Erath, Parker, Brown and Coleman counties.
In addition, law enforcement has dismantled several of the DTO’s suppliers and continues to investigate others that remain in operation.
A federal criminal indictment is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. T
If convicted, the suspects five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith.