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December 15, 2017
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20 arrested in connection with Taylor-based “crack” cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking operation

(AUSTIN, Texas) - This week, federal and state authorities in the Austin area arrested 20 individuals, including ringleader Horace Caruther of Round Rock, Texas, for their alleged roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the Taylor, Texas, area announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division.

Those arrested include:

Name    Age   Residence
Horace Lee Caruther 42 Round Rock, TX
Trevor Deshaun Hunt 25 Taylor, TX
Gregory Bean Jr. 44 Pflugerville, TX
William Collins (aka “Bugs”) 61 Taylor, TX
James Wilbert McNeal 70 Round Rock, TX
Robert Carl White   38 Temple, TX
Daniel Sanchez-Benitez 38 Pflugerville, TX
Angel Amado Rodriguez 23 Austin, TX
Kenneth Xavier Garza 22 Pflugerville, TX
Salomon Orozco-Benitez (aka “Viejito”)   33 Austin, TX
David Ibarra 25 Broadway, NC
Esmeralda Rodriguez 22 Austin, TX
Jesus Parra-Martinez (aka “Chuy”) 23 Austin, TX
Jose Parra-Martinez 35 Austin, TX
Sandra Parra-Velez (aka “La Coyota”) 33    Austin, TX
Elias Montiel 26 Sandford, NC
Federico Alvarez-Mendoza 36   Cameron, NC
Maria Bustamante 52 Laredo, TX
Ana Gonzalez 47 Laredo, TX
Adriana Deleza 42 Laredo, TX

On November 21, 2017, a federal grand jury in Austin indicted the defendants charging them with one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.  The grand jury also charged defendants Orozco, Montiel, Alvarez, Ibarra, Sanchez, Parra-Velez, Jesus Parra-Martinez, Deleza, and Gonzalez with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Authorities allege that from July 2016 to October 2017, this organization was responsible for the distribution of large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, and diverted pharmaceutical narcotics. The narcotics would be transported to areas across the United States, including North Carolina, for further distribution.  Defendants would also collect, transport and launder cash proceeds derived from the sale of narcotics.

To date the investigation has resulted in the arrests of 26 defendants; and, the seizure of $161,020, six kilograms of cocaine, two ounces of “crack” cocaine, 42 pounds of marijuana, and three guns.

All of the defendants remain in federal custody pending detention hearings expected to occur in U.S. Magistrate Court in Austin beginning next week.  On the drug conspiracy charge, defendants face a mandatory 10 years to life imprisonment upon conviction.  The defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction on the money laundering conspiracy charge.

The DEA Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force investigated this case.
Participating agencies in the Task Force include the: Austin Police Department; Cedar Park Police Department; Georgetown Police Department; Lakeway Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; Williamson County Sheriff Office; Travis County Sheriff’s Office; Hays County Sheriff’s Office; Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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