News Release
January 17, 2006
Contact: DEA Terri Wyatt
Number: (214) 366-6900

Meth Organization Excised From Ellis County
Multi-count Federal Indictment Names 14 Persons in Methamphetamine Organization

Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) helped arrest more than 39 methamphetamine traffickers in Ellis County and Southern Dallas County this morning. The early-morning round-up stems from a joint nine-month investigation in which the DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET), the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, and the Waxahachie Police Department, worked undercover to arrest major drug distributors. More than 100 law enforcement officers, beginning at 4:30 a.m. , conducted simultaneous raids to serve federal and state arrest warrants on people suspected of trafficking methamphetamine.

This month, a Federal Grand Jury for the Northern District of Texas returned indictments against 14 defendants. The Grand Jury for the State of Texas returned an additional 32 arrest warrants. One Federal search warrant and four state search warrants were issued. Many of those indicted have a violent history such as assault, robbery, and/or prior drug arrests. During undercover operations, Agents have observed suspects carrying firearms on several occasions and children have been present during some of the undercover purchases of narcotics. More than 8 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated street value of $425,000, has been seized during the course of this investigation. Additionally, 115 grams of crack cocaine, 86 grams of ecstasy, and 17 firearms have been seized. Thirty-four (34) defendants had already been arrested prior to the start of the round-up this morning.

“Federal and local law enforcement have come together in an unprecedented way to strategically attack meth problems in Ellis County . Today’s enforcement action effectively shut down a dangerous drug trafficking organization --- showing once again that law enforcement will not rest until our communities are safe and drug free,” said Richard Roper, U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Mr. Roper continued, “This case is an excellent example of the collaborative efforts of the federal government and local law enforcement to rid the streets of dangerous narcotics and related crimes.”

“The unified efforts we’ve experienced with our state and local counterparts have been phenomenal,” said James L. Capra, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Dallas Division. “It is refreshing to realize that a combined passion for justice can rid a community of its worst blemishes.”

“In early 2006, Ellis County Sheriff Ray Stewart, concerned with the growing problem with the use of methamphetamine in Ellis County , requested the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration Mobile Enforcement Unit,” said Joe Grubbs, Ellis County District Attorney. “The past several months of investigation has confirmed the severity of the meth problem in Ellis County . The Ellis County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit working in cooperation with the DEA has filed numerous cases arising out of this investigation. Without the interagency cooperation shown in the operation, the results would clearly not have been as successful. I want to personally thank Sheriff Stewart, the members of his Narcotics Unit, the Ennis Police Department, and the DEA for the cooperative effort resulting in the arrest of numerous drug offenders.”

“I requested the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Mobile Enforcement Team in April 2006 to come to Ellis County and assist the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit with a large narcotics problem that the county was experiencing,” said Ray Stewart, Ellis County Sheriff. “The Mobile Enforcement Team responded and worked in cooperation with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, the Waxahachie Police Department, the Ennis Police Department, and the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of this operation and the departments working in cooperation with each other, this operation has resulted in the arrest of numerous drug traffickers in Ellis County and the surrounding area. The operation resulted in disrupting a large amount of methamphetamine drug traffickers. This operation is a prime example of departments working in conjunction with each other and merging assets. The operation has been a tremendous success for the citizens of Ellis County .”

“The Waxahachie Police Department is grateful to the DEA, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, the local District Attorney’s Office and the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the service they have provided to the people of Waxahachie and Ellis County . Their efforts are certain to help make Waxahachie a better, safer place in which to live and work. We sincerely hope this is the beginning, rather than the culmination, of joint ventures by law enforcement in Ellis County . It has been our privilege to have participated in this worthy project,” said Charles Shaffer, Waxahachie Police Chief.

DEA, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Waxahachie Police Department, Ennis Police Department, Dallas Police Department, DeSoto Police Department, Grand Prairie Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Navarro County District Attorney’s Office, City of Coppell Police Department, Red Oak Independent School District Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, U. S. Marshal’s Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Ellis County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas participated in this investigation