Two more involved in cross-country drug operation tracked down
Marcelino Rodriguez (Left), Pamela Barrientos (Middle), Laura Rodriguez (Right)
by Noel Brennan
(UPDATE) - Two others accused of taking part in a cross-county drug operation have now been arrested.
Police have confirmed that Miguel Rodriguez has been picked up in Corpus Christi. Robert Conaway is confirmed to have been arrested in Austin.
MCLENNAN COUNTY (ORIGINAL STORY) - Deputy marshals with the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested three of nine people Wednesday accused of taking part in a cross-country drug operation.
Marcelino Rodriguez, 29, Laura Rodriguez, 30, and Pamela Barrientos, 25 were arrested between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesday and are currently behind bars at the McLennan County Jail.
The arrests stem from "Operation Texas Twins," an investigation led by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and Pennsylvania State Police.
According to a release posted Wednesday on the Pennsylvania Attorney General's website, Marcelino Rodriguez and his twin brother Miguel were the alleged leaders of the drug operation responsible for shipping as much as 20 pounds of marijuana per month over a two-year period.
Marcelino Rodriguez allegedly continued the operation even while he was serving time in jail in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Recorded phone calls he made from the Crawford County Jail helped spark the investigation.
"This was a coordinated effort to move significant quantities of drugs into communities across northwestern Pennsylvania which continued even after key figures were arrested and jailed," Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said in the release.
Pamela Barrientos, Marcelino's girlfriend, is accused of managing the distribution of thousands of dollars in drug money from a residence in Eddy. Laura Rodriguez, sister of Marcelino and Miguel, allegedly helped in the distribution of money as well.
According to Kevin Scott of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, deputy marshals arrested Marcelino Rodriguez at around 9:30 Wednesday morning at his home in the 100 block of Swivel Ln. in Eddy.
Just fifteen minutes later, deputy marshals arrested Pamela Barrientos in the 3300 block of E. Waco Drive. Marshals arrested Laura Rodriguez at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Chilton Elementary School.
As of Thursday morning, six of nine suspected members of the drug operation had been arrested. Two of the three still at large, Miguel Rodriguez and Robert Karl Conaway, could be in the Central Texas area.
Among a slew of drug-related charges, the accused members face charges of participating in a corrupt organization, which carries up to a 20-year prison sentence.