Thirteen arrested for drug trafficking, conspiracy; two suspects still on the loose.
Special to Beneath the Surface News
Local authorities arrested 13 suspects following an operation led by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, officers with the Stephenville Police Department and deputies with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges outlined in a criminal indictment filed on Sept. 26.
The suspects were arrested on Monday, Oct. 3, and made their initial court appearance the following day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery L. Cureton.
The indictment charges 15 defendants with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute.
Eight of those suspects have been arrested in the operation, five are in custody at various locations on unrelated state charges and two 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 and identified numerous individuals distributing for or obtaining methamphetamine and heroin from that DTO.
The investigation involved undercover purchases and search warrants, and throughout the investigation, substantial amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and cash were seized from the DTO.
Law enforcement learned that this DTO, based in and around Fort Worth, was allegedly responsible for distributing hundreds of multi kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in Erath, Tarrant, Parker, Brown and Coleman counties.
In addition, law enforcement has dismantled several of the DTO’s suppliers, and it continues to investigate others that remain in operation.
The statutory penalty, upon conviction, for the offense charged is not less than five years or more than 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith.