MOBILE ENFORCEMENT TEAM DEPLOYMENT ‘CRACK’DOWN RESULTS IN INDICTMENT OF 44 IN DICKINSON
JAN 12 -- (HOUSTON, TX) At a press conference held at the Dickinson Police Department in Dickinson, Texas, Drug Enforcement Administration Special-Agent-in-Charge James D. Craig, Galveston Country District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk and Dickinson Police Chief Ronald Morales, announced the results of a eight-month Drug Enforcement Administration Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) Deployment that resulted in the indictment of a total of 44 Dickinson and Houston area residents for their alleged involvement in selling crack cocaine and powder cocaine in the Dickinson Area.
Assistant United States Attorney Peter Mason, the lead federal prosecutor in this joint endeavor, representing United States Attorney Michael Shelby, announced that of the 44 persons indicted, twelve were charged federally with various drug trafficking offenses. At the conference, AUSA Mason said, “The joint law enforcement action taken today represents the continuing commitment of the United States Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice to assist local law enforcement officials in every county in our district to eradicate drugs from communities.”
Thirty-one state indictments ordered unsealed which charge a total of 32 area residents with state drug trafficking violations have been filed by the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office. “We have waited for today’s announcement with great anticipation. When we were approached last year, we agreed to cooperate in every way possible to make this effort a successful one, and the results today speak for themselves, “ said Galveston County District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk. “With over one-third of our felony cases involving drugs and even more being drug related, we welcomed this combined effort to make an impact on the illegal drug activity and look forward to continued cooperation in even more joint operations.”
A DEA MET deployment involves the assignment of federal manpower and resources to work with state and local law enforcement to target drug trafficking activity in communities. A MET is deployed only upon the request of local law enforcement agencies. In this investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s MET team was invited by local authorities to help address an almost epidemic problem with sellers of crack cocaine in the Dickinson area. These agencies combined their expertise and resources to identify and make undercover buys of crack cocaine from wholesale and street distributors in the area, and has resulted in the filing of federal and state charges.
“Today, we have witnessed the successful results of a joint and cooperative law enforcement effort to crackdown on the illegal drug trafficking in the Dickinson, Galveston County area,” said DEA Special Agent- in-Charge James D. Craig. “Drug traffickers continue to plague our communities, however, in partnership with state and local law enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration continues its efforts to identify and bring to justice those who threaten our communities.”
Dickinson Police Chief Roland Morales said, “This has been a blessing for the community of Dickinson. We are a small city with big city issues. Our budget could not support an operation such as this. Our narcotics officers along with the DEA. MET team have worked extremely hard together to rid our community of narcotics. This is a problem that has plagued this community for many years. Now it is up to all of us to continue this drive and to do our part to help keep the narcotics and the violence associated with trafficking drugs out of our community.”
Federal indictments have been filed in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Christopher Caldwell, 27, of the 2800 block of Arkansas, Dickinson, Texas; Tyrone Peterson, 29, of the 2800 block of Timber, Dickinson, Texas; Raymond Goffney, 28, of the 3300 block of Hughes Lane, Dickinson, Texas; Frederick Simmons, 56, of the 400 block of Deats Road, Dickinson, Texas; Bryant Williams, 28, of the 2000 block of Avenue G, Dickinson; Texas; Josephine Taylor, 21, of the 3600 block of Dawson Lane, Houston, Texas; Kelvin Roberts, 32, of the 2700 block of West Bay Area Blvd., Friendswood, Texas; and Tyrus George, 31, Nelson Stephens, 29, and Ronald Lymuel, 20, all of the 2900 block of Avenue H., Dickinson, Texas. A federal indictment has been filed in the Houston Division naming both Sidney Hobbs, 34, last known address on the 200 block of Green Cedar, League City, Texas; and Staci Mitchell, 26, last known address on the 11800 block of Gulf Point Dr.; Houston, Texas.
Caldwell, is charged with five counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, commonly known as ‘crack cocaine’ arising from five separate instances in which he is alleged to have sold crack between April and July 2004. If convicted of any of the charges, Caldwell faces a maximum statutory penalty of no less than 5 years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison without parole.
Peterson is charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base arising from one instance in which he is alleged to have sold crack cocaine in April 2004, and faces a statutory of no less than 5 years and a maximum of 40 years imprisonment upon conviction.
Goffney and Simmons are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base arising from the recovery of crack cocaine upon the execution of a state search warrant on the apartment they were both allegedly staying in April 2004. If convicted of the conspiracy charge, they each face a statutory penalty of no less than 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. The substantive possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine charge carries a statutory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.
Williams is charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine base arising from two separate instances in which he is alleged to have sold crack cocaine between April 2004 and May 2004. Williams faces a statutory of no less than 5 years and a maximum of 40 years imprisonment upon conviction.
Taylor is accused of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and four counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, all alleged to have occurred between July 2004 and December 2004. Each of the six counts, upon conviction, carries a penalty of no less than 10 nor more than life imprisonment.
Roberts, who is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; George, charged with a conspiracy count and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Stephens also charged with conspiracy and two substantive possession with intent to distribute crack; and Lymuel, who faces a conspiracy charge and one count of possession with intent to distribute crack, all also face the same 10 year minimum and life imprisonment maximum statutory penalty on each count charged upon conviction. According to allegations contained in the indictments the alleged unlawful conduct involving these defendants occurred between July 2004 and December 2004.
Hobbs and Mitchell are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine (powder) and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, each of which carries a statutory minimum penalty of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. The indictment alleges the unlawful conduct occurred in June 2004.
As of noon today, three of the federally charged defendants and 13 of the state defendants are in custody. The federal defendants in custody include Christopher Caldwell, Tyrone Peterson, and Kelvin Roberts. These defendants, arrested by teams of law enforcement officers comprised of special agents of the DEA and officers of the Dickinson, Galveston, League City, and Texas City Police Departments, the Galveston County Sheriff’s office and the U. S. Marshals Service, will make their initial appearance in federal court in Galveston beginning today. Dates for arraignments have not as yet been set. However, at arraignment, trial dates will be announced. These federal cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Mason.
Warrants remain outstanding for Raymond Goffney, Frederick Simmons, Bryant Williams, Josephine Taylor, Tyrus George, Nelson Stephens, Ronald Lymuel, Sidney Hobbs and Staci Mitchell. Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of any of defendants charged federally are encouraged to contact the Dickinson Police Department at (281) 337-6346 in Dickinson, Texas. Photographs of the fugitives are available upon request.
A list of the persons arrested on State of Texas charges follows or can be obtained by contacting the DEA at (713) 693-3030. The state cases will be prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney for Galveston County.
Indictments are formal accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
IC – In Custody Today