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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Authorities in Waco and California Arrest 15 Indicted on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

Today, federal, state and local authorities arrested eleven individuals in connection with a crystal methamphetamine trafficking operation in the Waco area, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division; Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw; McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara; and, Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt.

A federal grand jury this week returned two related indictments charging those individuals, as well as four individuals who were previously arrested, with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.  The defendants include Darris Thompson, who was the ringleader of the trafficking operation.  Below is a complete list of defendants.

The indictments allege that since at least October 2016, the defendants have been responsible for a crystal methamphetamine supply network based in Hesperia, California, and a methamphetamine distribution network based in Waco. 

During this investigation, authorities seized over 26 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, over 330 pounds of marijuana, and approximately 1,000 tabs of Xanax.

Given the drug quantity charged, if the defendants are convicted they will be subject to significant sentencing ranges--between ten years and life in federal prison for some defendants, and between five years and 40 years for others.  All but two of the defendants will remain in federal custody pending detention hearings anticipated for next week in Waco.

These indictments resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, the Waco Police Department, the Waco office of the DEA, and the United States Marshals Service.   In addition, the Ft. Worth and Riverside offices of the DEA and the Riverside Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance with this investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Smith-Burris is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

The principal mission of the 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.

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U.S. v. Thompson, et al. (W18cr093) defendants

Name                                                               Age     Residence                    Statutory Max. Penalty
*Darris Kinita Thompson (aka “Piru”)        41        Waco, TX                    10 years to life imprisonment
*Sedric Barshea Thompson                          49        Waco                           10 years to life imprisonment
*Meagan Anaise Keel                                     32        Waco                           10 years to life imprisonment
*Christopher Derric Blount                           46        Waco                           5 – 40 years imprisonment
*Darrell Wayne Moore                                   50        Waco                           5 – 40 years imprisonment
*Ulis Howard Alexander                                27        Waco                           10 years to life imprisonment
*Chelsea Laine Early Graves                         30        Waco                           5 – 40 years imprisonment
*Lamont Alexander Taylor                            41        Waco                           5 – 40 years imprisonment
*Ruby Clara Williams                                     55        Waco                           5 – 40 years imprisonment
*Joe Angel Gayton                                          27        Waco                           10 years to life imprisonment
*Johnny Perez, Jr.                                           38        Wichita Falls, TX       10 years to life imprisonment

 

U.S. v. Casillas, et al. (W18cr072) defendants

Name                                                   Age     Residence        Arrested          Statutory Max. Penalty
*Johnny Casillas                                 36        Waco               2.28.18            10 years to life imprisonment
**Francisco Resendiz-Martinez       25        Hesperia, CA  3.1.18              10 years to life imprisonment
*Patricia Ferrer                                   53        Hesperia, CA  2.28.18            10 years to life imprisonment
**Veronica Barraza Real                   40        Hesperia, CA  3.1.18              10 years to life imprisonment

 

* Remains in federal custody
**Resendiz-Martinez and Real are currently on bond--$100,000 and $50,000, respectively.   
       

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated March 15, 2018