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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Authorities in San Antonio Arrest Alleged Eastside Drug Dealer on Federal Charge

Defendant believed to be target of initial drive-by shooting and involved in subsequent retaliation shooting in which a 4-year-old boy was killed

In San Antonio last night, authorities arrested 36-year-old Charles Lee Bethany for possessing with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.


A criminal complaint and supporting affidavit filed in federal court this morning alleges that an investigation by the FBI and the San Antonio Police Department developed information that Bethany was possessing controlled substances at a residence he controlled in the 600 block of J Street in San Antonio. On July 21, 2017, investigators searched the premises with a warrant and seized approximately 56 grams of cocaine powder and 56 grams of crack cocaine. Information indicated that Bethany, who was not present, learned of the search. Officers of the San Antonio Police Department Repeat Offenders Project learned of his whereabouts on Wednesday and arrested him.


The affidavit also indicates that information obtained by investigators suggests that Bethany may have been the intended target of a drive-by shooting in the 400 block of Spriggsdale that occurred shortly after 4:00 p.m., on July 19, 2017. That shooting was followed by another the same day, shortly before midnight in the 200 block of Hub Street, in which a 4-year-old boy was killed. Surveillance video indicates that later that night a number of individuals appearing to be in possession of a pistol and a rifle left the location on J Street about 12 minutes before the shooting on Hub Street. According to the surveillance, those individuals returned to the J Street address moments after the shooting. The investigation into those shootings continues.


“The arrest of Charles Bethany is part of our joint effort—the FBI, the San Antonio Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office—to end the senseless shootings in San Antonio. This investigation continues along with our on-going work to stop violent crime, using whatever tools are legally available to us under federal and state laws. We ask that anyone having information about this case or other acts of violence contact the SAPD or the FBI,” stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.


Bethany remains in federal custody. A detention hearing is scheduled for 9:00am on August 1, 2017, before United States Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad in San Antonio. Upon conviction of the drug charge, Bethany faces between 5 and 40 years in federal prison.


Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Wannarka is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.


It is important to note that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated July 27, 2017