News Release
April 25, 2008

Seven East Texans In Court For Crack Cocaine Charges

APR 25 -- (Beaumont, TX) – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 33-year-old Nacogdoches man has been arrested after having been charged with crack cocaine drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.

FRANK WILLIAMS was arrested on April 23, 2008 and appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin on April 24 on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

On April 16, 2008, a federal grand jury in Beaumont returned separate Indictments charging 9 people with various crimes related to the distribution of crack cocaine in the Lufkin and Nacogdoches area. On April 18, a drug round-up was held in the Lufkin and Nacogdoches area during which 6 of those 9 defendants were arrested. Those previously arrested and also appearing before Judge Giblin on April 24 for detention hearings are MARTIN OCON JR., 27, of Lufkin; DANNY RAY POOL, 28, of Lufkin; DERRICK TATUM, 32, of Lufkin; RODNEY MORRIS, 36, of Nacogdoches; JUSTIN BURLEIGH, 27, of Nacogdoches; and KELWIN BERRY, 33, of Nacogdoches. Judge Giblin ordered that these defendants be held until their respective trials which will begin on June 9, 2008. Williams is scheduled for a detention hearing on April 29, 2008 at 10:00 am.

If convicted, the defendants could face up to life in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Flournoy and J. Malcolm Bales are prosecuting the different cases. Those involved in the investigations include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Texas Department of Public Safety Narcotics Division, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, the Lufkin Police Department, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, and the Nacogdoches Police Department.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.