News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 31, 2012
Contact: Diana Apocada
915-832-6074

Drug Enforcement Administration Mobile Enforcement Team Operation in West Texas Results in Numerous Arrests

MIDLAND, TX - Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit and United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that a three-month-long operation in Midland and Odessa by the DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Team has resulted in federal drug/firearm charges filed against 31 individuals.

Odessa residents charged include: 32-year-old Ray Wilkerson, 53-year-old Roberto Acosta, 43-year-old Roger Freitag, 34-year-old Rachel Gomez, 33-year-old Demetria Bell, 24-year-old Christina Phillips, 35-year-old Erica Garcia, 23-year-old Matthew Thomas, 54-year-old Linda Simpson, 23-year-old Ryan Thompson, 31-year¬old Breslum Medlock, 29-year-old Joe Rocha, 26-year-old Dalice Hernandez, 23-year-old Juvenal Ambriz, 21¬year-old Edgar Luna, 31-year-old Quantrell Pride and 22-year-old Jeremy Wilson.

Midland residents charged include: 35-year-old Felipe Gonzalez, 37-year-old Armando Esquivel, 34-year-old Ruben Gonzales, 36-year-old Manuel Carraso, 22-year-old Zachary Gatewood, 20-year-old Ledarvis Joiner, 37¬year-old Larry Shaw, 26-year-old David Galindo, 21-year-old Rachel Stephens, 20-year-old Rashawn Lewis, 53-year-old Kimberly Evans, 26-year-old Eddie Hicks, 27-year-old Alicia Gambrell and 42-year-old Wendell Dunkinsell.

All of the defendants with the exception of Garcia, Gomez, Joiner, Medlock, Hernandez and Phillips were arrested this morning or were already in custody prior to today.

Charges against these defendants include conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance and possession of firearms by prohibited persons. Some of the alleged drug offenses occurred within 1,000 feet of a school or playground. Controlled substances alleged in the offenses included crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, BZP and hydrocodone. Upon conviction, defendants face maximum federal prison sentences of 20 years, 40 years or life depending on the charge.

“The arrests made today are part of DEA's continuing effort to target the distribution of dangerous drugs at all levels. Illicit drug abuse and related criminal activity takes a tremendous toll on our communities, including those in West Texas. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in order to enhance the quality of life for the citizens in this region,” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-El Paso Division.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov

###