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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2007                                                                       PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                               CELL: (409) 553-9881



            BEAUMONT TX – United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 36-year-old Van Nuys, California man has been sentenced to 210 months in federal prison for drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.

JOSEPH DENNIS BIRD was sentenced by United States District Judge Thad Heartfield today. 

            According to information presented in court, a multi-state investigation into narcotics trafficking activities in Southeast Texas resulted in a 12-count indictment in June 2006 charging Bird and five co-defendants with distribution of “ice”-style methamphetamine.  .  Investigators determined that Bird, the major source of supply in California, was directing the sale and shipment of one-half pound of "ice" to Texas, while he was serving a drug-related state prison sentence in California.
            On September 13, 2006, Bird pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of "ice"-style methamphetamine, and agreed to the criminal forfeiture of $55,000 in drug proceeds.

            The White Ice investigation also resulted in the conviction and sentencing of local drug traffickers.  On February 15, 2007, KENNETH EARL McBRYDE, 32, of Beaumont, was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison by Chief United States District Judge Thad Heartfield for drug trafficking and money laundering.  Additionally, the Court ordered the criminal forfeiture of $123,150 relating to McBryde's money laundering activities using business accounts for "Jumpin' Gina's Moonwalks and More" and "Going Down Skydiving."  On January 3, Judge Heartfield sentenced STEVEN LOVETT, of Houston, a distributor of "ice" in southeast Texas, to 120 months in federal prison.

            This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, the Jefferson County Narcotics Task Force, the Port Arthur Police Department, the Beaumont Police Department, the California Department of Corrections, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Internal Revenue Service, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Randall L. Fluke, Jennifer Lowery, and Robert Hobbs.