Authorities indict 22 linked to Mexican cartel in Texas meth operation

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 08:47:08-04

Investigators have federally indicted 22 individuals directly linked to Mexican cartel traffickers in a Texas meth operation that included parts of Central Texas.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said in October of 2019 it identified a criminal enterprise operating within Erath, Hamilton, Comanche, Hill, Bosque, Tarrant, Dallas, Bexar, and Hood Counties.

Investigators and Sheriff Justin Caraway began undercover purchases to build a criminal case.

"During the investigation, it was determined that the methamphetamine being sold and transported within Hamilton County and surrounding Counties was directly tied to a criminal organization that span from Dallas, Texas and Mexico," said the sheriff in a release on Thursday.

Liquid methamphetamine was smuggled and transported to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, then converted to crystal meth and "sold in kilogram quantities."

During the investigation and over 200 hours of interviews, one defendant admitted to trafficking over 200 kilograms of meth from Mexican Cartel sources.

"Other Defendants were directly tied to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Aryan Circle, Tango Blast and Bloods Criminal Street Gangs," said the sheriff's office.

The case was later discovered to be connected with an ongoing DEA Eastern District criminal case.

"When convicted each defendant can be sentenced to not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment, a fine not exceeding $10 million, or both; supervised release of at least five years," said the sheriff's office.

Operation Long Reach found that a minimum of 1,100 pounds was distributed with a value of over $24 million.

VIEW GALLERY: Authorities indict 22 linked to Mexican cartel in Texas meth operation

The sheriff's office said the following indictments were returned by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas:

1) Ricky Castillo, 35, of Irving, Texas

2) Brandon Leon Kimberling, 25, of Dallas, Texas

3) Desiree Traxel, 25, of Dallas, Texas

4) Sandi Kristine Villicana, 33 of Arlington, Texas

5) Chad Anthony Hughes, 41, of Dallas, Texas

6) Kevin Priesley Srader, 33, of Hamilton, Texas

7) Kristin Nicole O’Dell, 33, of Stephenville, Texas

Justin Scott Allbright, 35, of Stephenville, Texas

9) Michael Brandon Downey, of Stephenville, Texas

10) Sandra Fay Rhodes, 33, of Hico, Texas

11) Cathlene Cecile Callahan, 35, of Hico, Texas

12) Jeffrey Don Champion, 36, of Stephenville, Texas

13) James Edwin Smith, 43, of Stephenville, Texas

14) Dustie Lee Been, 22, of Stephenville, Texas

15) Cassandra Bower, 37, of Dallas, Texas

16) Genna Ann Long, 47, of Stephenville, Texas

17) Lyndon Kale Coker, 42, of Hico, Texas

18) Jerry DeWayne Knight, 30, of Stephenville, Texas

19) Kendon “Keno” DaWayne Baker, 34, of Stephenville, Texas

20) Lois Ann Srader, 41, of Stephenville, Texas

21) Claud Thomas Taylor, 42, of Stephenville, Texas

22) Megan Diane Cameron, 24, of Stephenville, Texas