DALLAS — Following a Wednesday operation led by the FBI’s Fort Worth Violent Crime/Gang Task Force, 41 individuals are now in custody on federal drug distribution conspiracy charges.
These charges were announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Thomas M. Class Sr. of Dallas FBI.
The FBI’s Fort Worth Violent Crime/Gang Task Force – comprised of agents, investigators and police officers from the following agencies – is conducting this investigation: FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Texas Department of Public Safety; and the Texas police departments of Arlington and Fort Worth. The following agencies are assisting in this investigation: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO); and the Texas police departments of Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving and Mesquite.
Four federal criminal complaints, partially unsealed Feb. 11, charge a total of 50 individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and/or 500 grams or more of cocaine. Thirty-six of those defendants were arrested in the Feb. 10 operation, five were already in custody at various locations on unrelated state charges, and nine have not yet been arrested.
Several defendants have made their initial appearance in federal court in Dallas before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver. All remain in custody. Several detention hearings will be held next week.
According to the affidavits filed with the complaints, the conspiracies began as early as September 2013 and August 2014. Throughout the investigation, substantial amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as cash and firearms, were seized from the drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was allegedly responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. The penalties for the charged offenses are not less than five years nor more than 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Burgess, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.