20 Arrested in Connection with Taylor-Based “Crack” Cocaine and Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation
This week, federal and state authorities in the Austin area arrested 20 individuals, including ringleader Horace Caruther of Round Rock, TX, for their alleged roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the Taylor, TX area announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division.
Those arrested include:
Name Age Residence
Horace Lee Caruther 42 Round Rock, TX
Trevor Deshaun Hunt 25 Taylor, TX
Gregory Bean Jr. 44 Pflugerville, TX
William Collins (aka “Bugs”) 61 Taylor
James Wilbert McNeal 70 Round Rock
Robert Carl White 38 Temple, TX
Daniel Sanchez-Benitez 38 Pflugerville
Angel Amado Rodriguez 23 Austin
Kenneth Xavier Garza 22 Pflugerville
Salomon Orozco-Benitez (aka “Viejito”) 33 Austin
David Ibarra 25 Broadway, NC
Esmeralda Rodriguez 22 Austin
Jesus Parra-Martinez (aka “Chuy”) 23 Austin
Jose Parra-Martinez 35 Austin
Sandra Parra-Velez (aka “La Coyota”) 33 Austin
Elias Montiel 26 Sandford, NC
Federico Alvarez-Mendoza 36 Cameron, NC
Maria Bustamante 52 Laredo, TX
Ana Gonzalez 47 Laredo
Adriana Deleza 42 Laredo
On November 21, 2017, a federal grand jury in Austin indicted the defendants charging them with one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The grand jury also charged defendants Orozco, Montiel, Alvarez, Ibarra, Sanchez, Parra-Velez, Jesus Parra-Martinez, Deleza and Gonzalez with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Authorities allege that from July 2016 to October 2017, this organization was responsible for the distribution of large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine and diverted pharmaceutical narcotics. The narcotics would be transported to areas across the United States, including North Carolina, for further distribution. Defendants would also collect, transport and launder cash proceeds derived from the sale of narcotics.
To date the investigation has resulted in the arrests of 26 defendants; and, the seizure of $161,020, six kilograms of cocaine, two ounces of “crack” cocaine, 42 pounds of marijuana and, three guns.
All of the defendants remain in federal custody pending detention hearings expected to occur in U.S. Magistrate Court in Austin beginning next week. On the drug conspiracy charge, defendants face a mandatory ten years to life imprisonment upon conviction. The defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction on the money laundering conspiracy charge.
The DEA Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force investigated this case. Participating agencies in the Task Force include the: Austin Police Department; Cedar Park Police Department; Georgetown Police Department; Lakeway Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; Williamson County Sheriff Office; Travis County Sheriff’s Office; Hays County Sheriff’s Office; Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The principal mission of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering operations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.