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Seven more arrested for roles in methamphetamine trafficking operation

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 18:56:25-04

Federal and state authorities have arrested seven people in McLennan, Bell and Coryell counties for their roles in a methamphetamine distribution operation.

Those arrested Monday include:

  • Rodney MacPherson (aka “Todd”), age 51 of Temple, TX
  • Anna Ruetz (aka “Dani”), age 30 of Waco
  • Blake Deeann Blanchard, age 30 of Gatesville, TX
  • Shae Lynn Rice, age 55 of McGregor, TX
  • Lamarcus Lamond Minter, age 41 of Moody, TX
  • Roberto Gonzalez, age 34 of McGregor.
  • Ulysses Lopez, age 46 of McGregor, was already in state custody prior to Monday.

Those seven are a follow-up to 15 arrests made earlier this year in connection with this investigation, including 25-year-old Gabriel Flores-Benitez of McGregor.

Authorities allege that under the leadership of Flores-Benitez, the organization was responsible for the sale and distribution of large amounts of methamphetamine throughout Central Texas since May 19.

Authorities, to date, have seized roughly two kilograms of meth and three firearms attributable to the drug trafficking operation.

“Transnational and violent drug traffickers should take note that federal, state, and local law enforcement in Central Texas is well organized, cooperative and highly effective,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Whipple. “This investigation is an excellent example of how area law enforcement agencies work together to make this community safer.”

If convicted, MacPherson faces between 10 years and life in federal prison. The remaining defendants face between five and 40 years in federal prison if convicted.

Authorities say all of those arrested Monday remain in federal custody. Detention hearings are expected to occur next week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Manske in Waco.