Nine Area Residents Charged With Methamphetamine Trafficking
APR 15 -- (GALVESTON, Texas) – An Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation dubbed Operation Blood Loss has resulted in the indictment of nine southeast Texas area residents, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Zorn Yankovich and United States Attorney José Angel Moreno, announced today. OCDETF Operation Blood Loss is a continuing investigation targeting the trafficking of drugs, particularly methamphetamine, in and around the Galveston/Southeast Texas area.
A 12-count sealed indictment returned by a Houston grand jury on Feb. 17, 2010, was partially unsealed on Thursday, April 1, 2010, as the result of enforcement action by members of the DEA Galveston Task Force including special agents of the Galveston office of the DEA, Texas City office of the FBI and officers of the Freeport and Lake Jackson police departments and the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department which resulted in the arrests of Kasi Grubbs, 27, and Trevor Henderson, 34, both of Angleton, Texas, and Russell Scott Broussard, 27, of West Columbia, Texas. Henderson and Grubbs were arrested at their homes, while Broussard was arrested at the home of a friend. Broussard, Henderson and Grubbs all made their initial appearances before United States Magistrate Judge John R. Froeschner in Galveston on April 2, 2010. Broussard was detained, while Henderson was ordered released upon posting bond. Grubbs has been ordered released upon completion of conditions imposed by the court.
Sherry Lynn McClernon aka Sherry Rose, 38, of Brazoria, Texas, and Gilberto Estrada, 26, of Baytown, Texas, were taken into custody on April 7 and April 9, respectively, each during a traffic stop. Both have made their initial appearances and have been ordered detained. Mahriah Chandler, 31, of Angleton, was taken into custody in Galesburg, Ill., on April 12, 2010, and made her initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate there. She will be transferred to the Southern District of Texas to face these charges in the near future.
Three others charged - Shawn Poe, 24, of Angleton; Gabriel Rubio, 33, of Freeport, Texas; and Melody Carlyle, 43, originally of the Angleton area - were all in state custody. Poe and Rubio have already been transferred to federal custody to face these charges and Carlyle will be transferred to federal authorities in the near future.
All nine defendants are charged in the first count of the indictment with conspiring with one another and others to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine between April 2008 through May 2009. One or more of the defendants are charged in the remaining 11 counts of the indictment in which they are accused of possessing with intent to distribute substantial quantities of methamphetamine or substances containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine on various specified dates during the course of the conspiracy.
The conspiracy count carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in federal prison upon conviction as well as a maximum fine of $4 million. The statutory punishment range of each of the remaining counts depends upon the amount of drugs involved in the alleged transaction and range from no term of imprisonment to mandatory minimum prison terms of five or 10 years to maximums of 20 years to life imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines.
The indictment also provides notice to all of the defendants charged of the intent of the United States to seek to forfeit the interest of each defendant charged in any property derived from or used in the commission of the alleged drug trafficking offense or any proceeds obtained as a result of the violation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato.
indictment is a formal accusation of criminal
conduct, not evidence.