18 arrested, 4 still wanted in connection to Palestine drug traf - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

18 arrested, 4 still wanted in connection to Palestine drug trafficking raid

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From the Texas Department of Public Safety:

PALESTINE, TX – Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today announced the conclusion of a 20-month narcotics and firearms trafficking investigation. DPS Criminal Investigation Division agents, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County District Attorney’s Office, Palestine Police Department, Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office – completed a joint investigative operation which led to the indictment of 22 defendants, primarily in Anderson County.

Sixteen defendants have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. The charge is a first degree felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Six defendants face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine/possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of firearms.

The initial investigation began in May 2012 with information from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office about a possible drug trafficking organization operating within Anderson County. This prompted a collaborative effort between local, state and federal agencies, whose undercover agents and investigators were able to purchase narcotics and firearms from the individuals indicted. The case came to a conclusion with the identification and indictment of key members in the alleged drug trafficking organization.

Sealed indictments against these individuals were obtained by the office of Doug Lowe, Anderson County District Attorney on January 2, 2014 from an Anderson County Grand Jury.

This morning at approximately 6:00 AM, the above mentioned agencies, along with DPS SWAT, SRT-1 and Texas Highway Patrol Troopers served warrants at two locations within the city limits of Palestine. As a result of the warrant service, 18 individuals were taken into custody and investigators seized a pistol, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The following individuals were arrested and incarcerated at the Anderson County Jail:

Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm While Illegally in the United States:

  • Juan Jesus Morales Gante, (AKA Chuy) 21

Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Conspiracy To Distribute Methamphetamine:

  • Marcela Morales Aguilar 38
  • Carrie Elizabeth Clark 32
  • Michael Lance Collins 35
  • Daniel Galacia 29
  • Hilario Escamila Gonzalez Sr 41
Engage in Organized Criminal Activity

  • Timothy Mark Bowling 51
  • Travis Brotherton 57
  • Holly Rene Miller 38
  • Bridget Anita Ferguson 33
  • Larry Lynn Mills 65
  • Gary Wayne Parker Jr 49
  • Amber Nicole Priehs 23
  • Linda Kay Marr Smith 53
  • Randall Keith Speed 30
  • Jerry Wayne Turner 47
  • Gilberto Estrada Vinaja 28
  • Jon Dee Brown 39

These remaining individuals have not been located, anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact Anderson County Crime Stoppers at (903)729-8477:

  • Raul Hernandez Gomez 39
  • Bruce James Hogue 49
  • Brittney Estridge Hawthorne 25
  • Jennifer Nacole Finley 29


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