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Press Release

USAO NDTX Weekly Roundup -- 11/08/1

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

INDICTMENT --- Robert Grafton, 52
On Nov. 7,  a federal grand jury indicted Robert Grafton, of Dallas, on three counts of bank robbery. Over a two week period, he allegedly robbed three Capital One bank locations in Dallas, brandishing a weapon and demanding bank tellers hand over the currency in the register. If convicted, Mr. Grafton faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count. The FBI along with the Dallas Police Department investigated the case.

SENTENCING – Lawrence Shahwan, 41
On Nov. 6, 41- year-old Lawrence Shahwan, the lead defendant in the Gas Pipe synthetic cannabinoid case, was sentenced to six years in federal prison. In March 2015, Mr. Shahwan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to contribute a controlled substance analogue. He admits that for years, he manufactured so-called “spice” products – made using chemicals that mimic the effects of THC -- and distributed the product to head shops around Dallas, branded as “Assassin Revolution,” “Venom,” “Wolf Pack Rage,” etc. At sentencing, Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn remarked on the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids, which can be fatal.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Duncanville, Desoto, and Dallas Police Departments, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted the investigation. More about the case here.

INDICTMENT -- Gary Lyn Black, 60
On Nov. 6, a federal grand jury indicted Gary Lyn Black – also known by the street name “Godsmack” -- for distributing more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug conspiracy, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and maintaining a drug-involved premises.  If convicted, Mr. Black, of Johnson County, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life.  The Cleburne Stop the Offender Program investigated the case.

INDICTMENT – Gustavo Palafox-Acuna & Marcos Escalante-Acuna
On November 7, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Gustavo Palafox-Acuna and Marcos Escalante-Acuna for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. The two were arrested on October 18, 2018, with approximately 113 pounds of methamphetamine.  

INDICTMENT – Eugene Mitchell, 44
On Nov. 6, a federal grand jury indicted Eugene Mitchell, of Chicago on a felon in possession of a firearm charge. If convicted, Mr. Mitchell faces up to 10 years in federal prison. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives and the Lancaster Police Department conducted the investigation.


Erin Dooley, Public Affairs Officer

Updated November 8, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime