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Press Release

Jefferson County Man Guilty of Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

 BEAUMONT, Texas – A 41-year-old Port Acres, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

            Chad Piazza pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine on Dec. 9, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

According to information presented in court, beginning in January 2012, Piazza and a co-defendant, Wendy Claudine Hopkins, 45, of Groves, Texas, conspired to distribute methamphetamine in the Jefferson County, Texas area.  As part of his plea, Piazza admitted that he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and used his association with the ABT to further his drug trafficking activities.

            A federal grand jury returned an indictment on May 15, 2014 and charged Piazza and Hopkins with drug trafficking violations.  Piazza entered his guilty plea during jury selection for his trial, which was set to begin yesterday.

            Hopkins pleaded guilty on Nov. 5, 2014 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  Both defendants face a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.  Sentencing dates have not been set.    

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Port Arthur Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.

Updated March 17, 2015