Roundup In Palestine Nets 28 On Drug Trafficking Charges
OCT 13--(Palestine, Texas) A combined task force of federal and state law enforcement agents have begun arresting individuals involved in drug trafficking in Palestine and Anderson County this morning. The arrests mark the final phase of a two year investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine in the city of Palestine. According to court documents, the Dogwood Trails Task Force began an investigation in November 2002, into a crack cocaine distribution ring originating in Anderson County. The conspirators utilized various suppliers to acquire quantities of crack cocaine to sell, and recruited others to distribute the crack in varying quantities. The investigation also revealed links to drug suppliers and distributors in Dallas and Houston. As a result of this investigation, a total of 72 individuals have been indicted on multiple state and federal charges ranging from federal Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance to state charges of Delivery of a Controlled Substance. On September 14, 2004, a federal grand jury in Tyler returned indictments against sixteen defendants in three separate sealed indictments. The Anderson County grand jury also returned indictments in September charging 56 defendants with various drug trafficking charges.
Early this morning, officers from several local, state and federal agencies
began executing search warrants and arresting the individuals named in
the federal and state indictments as well as seizing properties, residences,
additional narcotics, drug proceeds, vehicles and guns associated with
the drug trafficking activity. So far, six federal defendants and 22
state drug defendants are in custody. Authorities will continue to make
arrests during the day.
If convicted, many of the defendants face a maximum sentence of life
in prison. Other defendants face between 40 and 300 years in prison.
It is important
to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered
as evidence of either guilt or innocence.