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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Friday, June 7, 2013

Defendants Sentenced Today In Major Methamphetamine Conspiracy

WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Four additional defendants, who pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a major methamphetamine distribution conspiracy that they operated in Wichita Falls, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

The following defendants were sentenced today:

  • Brittany Brown, 23, sentenced to 46 months
  • Melanie Brown, 40, sentenced to 24 months
  • Michael Eugene Peters, 35, sentenced to 84 months
  • Travis Ritchie, 63, sentenced to 72 months

Melanie Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute and to possess with intent to manufacture and to manufacture methamphetamine. She admitted that she and others agreed to and engaged in the distribution of methamphetamine. She further admitted that on numerous occasions, she distributed quantities of methamphetamine to, and received payments for methamphetamine from customers in the Wichita Falls area. Co-conspirator Steve Ysasaga supplied the methamphetamine that she distributed.

Ritchie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine. He admitted that on multiple occasions he distributed methamphetamine, supplied by Ysasaga, and facilitated its distribution in Wichita Falls. He also admitted that he allowed Ysasaga to distribute methamphetamine to other co-conspirators, including Franklin Dewayne Hubbard and David Calandreli, from his residence on 7th Street in Wichita Falls.

Brittany Brown pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine. In March 2012, Brittany Brown sold approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover officer.

Peters, who was previously convicted of felony offenses, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He admitted that on March 7, 2011, he possessed a loaded .380 caliber pistol that was discovered by law enforcement during a search of his vehicle subsequent to a traffic stop.

To date, 29 of the 30 defendants charged in this conspiracy have entered guilty pleas; a total of 19 defendants have been sentenced. The case against one defendant has not been resolved.

This Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Wichita Falls Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary F. Walters is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 22, 2015