DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
     FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2007                                  PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                       PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                               CELL: (409) 553-9881


            TYLER, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today the arrest of several individuals and the seizure of a significant amount of contraband from a major methamphetamine “ice” trafficking and transporting organization in the Eastern District of Texas.

            According to prosecutors, multiple law enforcement agencies have been investigating the distribution of “ice” methamphetamine by the Tyler, Texas – based Juan Comacho Calderon drug trafficking and transportation organization.  This organization is involved with the distribution and sale of “ice” in the East Texas area and in Dallas County, Texas.

            This investigation dubbed, Operation Thin Ice, began in 2005 and has been the combined effort of the DEA, Texas Department of Public Safety, ATF, FBI, IRS, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and Tyler Police Department. 

            On the night of October 11, 2007, five Smith County residences were searched, which resulted in the arrests of six subjects, Juan Comacho Calderon, 40; Salvador Camacho Urena, 62; Serafin Urena, 35; Maria Trinida Lopez, 34; Jose Vargas, 24; and Jose Morales, 25; all of Tyler. 

            On October 12, 2007, Andres Saucedo Sosa, 38, and Enrique Nunez Garcia, 21, were also arrested in Tyler in connection with this case.  Additional arrests are expected. 

            These Defendants appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love in Tyler for initial appearances on a Complaint.  All were detained without bond pending detention hearings scheduled for next week.

            Seized during the searches were the following:  over $24,000 in United States currency; 15 firearms, including an SKS type assault weapon; ammunition; approximately 3 ½ pounds of suspected methamphetamine; approximately 6 kilograms of cocaine; and drug paraphernalia.

The United States Attorney's Office expects to bring drug and firearms charges against the targets of this investigation in the near future.  Generally, most of the defendants, if convicted, face up to life imprisonment.  It is important to note that a complaint, arrest, or indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The cases are being prosecuted by assistant United States Attorney Allen Hurst. 


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