Over the past two weeks, federal, state and local authorities have arrested 21 individuals in connection with cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking operations based in the Austin area, announced U.S Attorney John F. Bash and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple, Houston Division on Friday, August 28.
Two federal grand jury indictments returned in Austin charge the defendants with conspiring to distribute a controlled substance. Each of the cocaine distribution conspiracies allegedly involved more than 500 grams of cocaine. The methamphetamine conspiracy allegedly involved more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
During this investigation, authorities have seized approximately 50 kilograms of methamphetamine, four kilograms of heroin, over two kilograms of cocaine, approximately 50 pounds of marijuana, multiple firearms and more than $473,000 in assets, including over $423,000 in U.S. currency, attributed to this organization.
The defendants include: 25-year-old Juan Miguel Campuzano-Rebollar of Austin; 39-year-old Santana Olmedo-Carbajal of Cedar Creek; 52-year-old Jose Miguel Campuzano-Gonzalez of Austin; 26-year-old Saudiel Granados-Cruz of Austin; 22-year-old Narciso Osorio-Aquino of Austin; 44-year-old Martha Yanez of Elgin; 21-year-old Jose Cruz-Licona of Austin; 22-year-old Blanca Arteaga of Austin; 33-year-old Antonio Benitez-Ugarte of Austin; 28-year-old Iris Garcia of Austin; 33-year-old Jose Rivera-Benitez of Austin; 55-year-old Edward Keane of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania; 48-year-old William Sump of Port Lavaca; 59-year-old Elvis Jackson of Taylor; 59-year-old Angela Eans of Bastrop; 46-year-old Hulan McCoy of Bastrop; 37-year-old Christopher Henderson of Bastrop; 35-year-old Brandon Carter of Bastrop; and 34-year-old Joshua Haywood of Austin.
“The arrests made over the last couple of weeks in Austin and the surrounding area conclude a comprehensive investigation targeting the criminal activities of a violent local street gang and their Mexican Cartel sources of supply,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Whipple. “The DEA, along with our state and local law enforcement partners, will continue to pursue any individual or organization that threatens the well-being and stability of our communities. Nothing is more critical than the safety and security of our citizens.”
The 14 defendants charged with crimes carrying mandatory-minimum prison sentences (Campuzano-Rebollar, Olmedo-Carbajal, Campuzano-Gonzalez, Granados-Cruz, Osorio-Aquino, Yanez, Arce-Mora, Castellan-Ortiz, Cruz-Lucona, Keane, Sump, McCoy, Carter and Haywood) face between five and 40 years in federal prison upon conviction. The remaining defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction.
Jackson, Eans, McCoy, Henderson, Carter and Haywood were arrested yesterday morning on these charges. McCoy, Carter and Haywood remain in custody pending detention hearings expected to occur next week in the U.S. Magistrate Court in Austin.
“With the arrest of these individuals our residents can feel safer knowing that the flow and distribution of illegal drugs in Bastrop County has been interrupted,” stated Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook. “This offender roundup is a great example of when law enforcement agencies work together.”
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the DEA, FBI, Austin Police Department, Cedar Park Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, IRS-CI and the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO) assisted with the arrests. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel Cohen and Kathryn Cherry are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.