Ten Erath County residents are in federal custody following a flurry of arrests in October and November on federal drug conspiracy charges, according to Stephenville Police Chief Jason King.
“These arrests are the result of our narcotics investigators working with the DEA. That’s what made this case,” King said.
Those now in federal custody include Lea Lea Bills of Stephenville, Heath Brewer of Lipan, Jeanne Butler of Stephenville, Shauna Michelle Campbell of Morgan Mill, Edward Martin Carranza of Dublin, Michael Tyler Davidson of Stephenville, Thomas Cruz Gonzalez of Dublin, David Wayne Green of Lipan, Brad Keith of Stephenville, Michaela Danese Moncrief of Dublin and Kara Michelle Traweek of Stephenville.
Each were charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
King said the arrests are part of “phase 2” of an operation that began in June when the E-T reported on the arrests of six suspects.
Lt. Don Miller said more arrests are expected to come.
“We are still searching for two fugitives, but the DEA is not ready to release their names,” Miller said.
According to the press release, a complaint filed on May 10 contends that the defendants conspired to possess and distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine from July 2017 through January 2018.
“Members of the conspiracy had a fluid hierarchy that evolved over time,” the release states. “Some of the money derived from the sale and distribution of the methamphetamine was used to purchase additional quantities of methamphetamine.”
If convicted, the defendants face up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith is prosecuting the case.
“I am grateful and proud of the hard work done by our narcotics officers who worked on this case,” King said.