DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2007                            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                  PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                           CELL: (409) 553-9881
                                                                                                    

METH ROUNDUP IN EAST TEXAS NETS NINE

            TYLER, TX – A combined task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies began arresting individuals involved in a methamphetamine drug trafficking criminal enterprise in East Texas.  Agents and officers arrested nine individuals in today's round-up.

            According to court documents, the defendants were part of a conspiracy to traffic in more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.  Since approximately 2005, the defendants had been conspiring to distribute methamphetamine to others in and around East Texas and West Louisiana.

In October 2007, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging 14 people with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Those involved in the lengthy investigation and today's arrests include the Texas Department of Public Safety Narcotics Division and Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service, the Panola County Sheriff's Office, the Harrison County District Attorney's Office, the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, the Marshall Police Department, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The following defendants are in custody and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie today for an initial appearance:

Erica Ann Phillips, 27, of Carthage
Elizabeth Labor Tucker, 44, of Shreveport LA
Abram Sebastian Verduzco, 24, of Seagoville
Javier Abraham Carillo, 24, of Seagoville
Charlsye Mann Moore, 37, of Marshall
Danny Lewis Kirkland, 36, of Deberry
Vinita Kincaid Lewis, 46, of Logansport LA
Timothy Cooper, 27, of Zwolle LA
Jack Calhoun Moore, 37, of Marshall

 Detention hearings are scheduled for Friday before Judge Guthrie.  If convicted, the defendants face up to life in prison.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ann Cozby is prosecuting the case.

            A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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