DALLAS — A Rockwall, Texas, man, Richard Deon Murrell, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 190 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in April 2016 to his role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
On September 3, 2015, Murrell was driving on I-30 and was pulled over by an officer with the Rockwall Police Department. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer smelled marijuana. The officer asked Murrell for his driver’s license and Murrell said he didn’t have one. When Murrell was asked to step out of his vehicle and write his name and date of birth on a piece of paper, Murrell provided the officer with a fake name and fake date of birth. Murrell then told the officer his license was suspended. The officer told Murrell he was being detained because of the validity of his license and told him to place his hands behind his back. Murrell jerked away, ran along the passenger side of the vehicle, entered the vehicle and grabbed a dark bag from the vehicle. Murrell then ran north across the east and west-bound lanes of I-30.
A search of the vehicle revealed that it contained approximately one gram of marijuana. When Murrell was subsequently located coming out of a wooded area and was arrested, he advised he’d thrown the bag away near a tractor trailer, but no bag was found in that area.
Later, officers located a soft-sided cooler, containing numerous clear baggies of methamphetamine, in a culvert. That methamphetamine had a gross weight of 1142 grams. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) examined the baggies for fingerprints and concluded that prints on the baggies belonged both to Murrell and his co-defendant, Toby Deodric Hawkins. Charges remain pending against Hawkins.
The FBI, Rockwall Police Department and Texas DPS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Leal prosecuted.
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