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February 7, 2013

Prosecutors announce dismantling of major marijuana trafficking operation

GARLAND — The dismantling of a major marijuana trafficking organization has resulted in the distribution of significant assets to five Metroplex law enforcement agencies in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

In October 2010, law enforcement agencies became aware of a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for moving large amounts of marijuana and cash between the Dallas, Texas area and various points in Arizona. On Dec. 4, 2010, members of the drug trafficking organization were observed removing an air conditioning unit from a horse trailer to reveal a hidden compartment used to hide currency, marijuana and firearms.  Law enforcement officers moved in and arrested members of the drug trafficking organization.  

They also recovered two rifles and a firearm on the front seat of a vehicle. Additional weapons were seized at the location along with $685,825.00 in cash.  Agents then executed search warrants at other residences and a storage unit. At the storage unit, agents seized an additional $257,520.00, $206,400.00, and $309,880.00 for a total currency seizure of $1,722,446.00.

The Texas Department of Public Safety led the investigation with assistance from the Wylie Police Department, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives provided follow-up investigation after the arrest and seizure of evidence.  In total, nine individuals were convicted of federal drug trafficking violations.

This investigation is a great example of the successful partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Texas,” said DPS Deputy Director David Baker. “Thanks to the efforts by all involved, these criminals are now off our streets, and our communities are safer today.”

The following agencies received equitable sharing checks as a result of this case:

Texas Department of Public Safety                $1,119,360.20    (65 percent)

Wylie Police Department                    $86,104.63              (5 percent)

Dallas County Sheriff’s Office            $86,104.63              (5 percent)

Collin County Sheriff’s Office            $68,883.70              (4 percent)

Dallas County District Attorney’s Office         $17,220.93              (1 percent)   

The remaining 20 percent of the forfeiture money will be deposited into the Asset Forfeiture Fund.         

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Ernest Gonzalez.

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