News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2007
Contact: DEA Terri Wyatt
Number: (214) 366-6900

Amarillo-Based Meth Organization Disbanded
Federal Complaint Names 21 Persons in Methamphetamine Organization

FEB 15 -- Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) helped arrest eight (8) methamphetamine traffickers in Amarillo, Texas, this morning. The early-morning round-up is the culmination of an investigation that began more than two years ago. The DEA Amarillo Office, the Potter County Sheriff’s Office, the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, the Amarillo Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety worked undercover in a joint effort to arrest major drug distributors. More than 100 law enforcement officers, beginning at 5:00 a.m., conducted simultaneous raids to serve federal arrest warrants on people suspected of trafficking methamphetamine.

This week, a complaint was filed in the Amarillo Division of the Northern District of Texas against 21 defendants. Four state search warrants were issued as well. More than 14 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated street value of $700,000 has been seized during the course of this investigation. Additionally, more than $310,000 in U. S. Currency has been seized. Six (6) were already in custody on unrelated charges prior to the start of the round-up this morning.

U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas, said, “Today’s enforcement action effectively shut down a dangerous drug trafficking organization operating in the Amarillo area. This case demonstrates the commitment of federal, state, and local law enforcement to work as a team to aggressively address drug dealing in the Panhandle.”

“During the course of this investigation, investigators witnessed how this meth organization began to erode the basic framework of this town,” said James L. Capra, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Dallas Division. “Today, due to the collective efforts of the agencies involved, we have taken the first step in returning this community back to the citizens.”

“I want to express thanks to all of the participating agencies that assisted in the development and expansion of this case,” said Mike Shumate, Potter County Sheriff. “Without the aid and assistance of these agencies, especially the DEA, all of the accomplishments would not have been gained. Once again, this speaks volumes about the spirit of cooperation that exists between the local, state, and federal law enforcement communities.”

“Our local DEA Task Force has filled a void in our regional efforts against narcotics,” said Joel W. Richardson, Randall County Sheriff. “Our local resources do a great job on street level situations. However, with the Task Force, we have a resource to go after the larger, more in-depth cases and offenders. We are seeing concrete results from this cooperative endeavor.”

“The Amarillo Police Department is very pleased that the result of this investigation has rid Amarillo of a large-scale drug dealer,” said Jerry Neal, Amarillo Police Chief. “The citizens should be proud of the collaborative efforts of all agencies involved.”

“Methamphetamine continues to plague the citizens of the Texas Panhandle,” said Captain J. C. Longway, Texas Department of Public Safety. “This drug has touched the life of virtually every citizen in one way or another. The commitment and sacrifices made by the brave men and women from the DEA, DPS, Potter and Randall County Sheriff’s Departments, as well as the Amarillo Police Department to take on those who would distribute this destructive drug to the fine people of the Texas Panhandle cannot go unnoticed. I am very proud of the cooperation displayed by the agencies involved in this lengthy investigation to dismantle this Drug Trafficking Organization profiting from others misery.”

DEA, Potter County Sheriff’s Office, Randall County Sheriff’s Office, Amarillo Police Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety participated in this investigation.

###