HAMILTON COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office identified a criminal enterprise in October 2019 operating within numerous Central Texas counties. Four people from within Hamilton County are among 22 who have been federally indicted.
The Central Texas counties include Erath, Hamilton, Comanche, Hill, Bosque, Tarrant, Dallas, Bexar and Hood.
Sheriff’s Office Investigators, along with Sheriff Justin Caraway, started conducting undercover purchases of methamphetamine from defendants to build a criminal case against them During the investigation, it was discovered that the meth being sold and transported within Hamilton County and surrounding counties was directly tied to a criminal organization spanning from Dallas, Texas and Mexico. Liquid meth was being smuggled into the U.S. and transported to the Dallas/Fort Worth areas of Texas. The meth was later converted to crystal meth and sold in kilogram quantities.
Sheriff Caraway and the Sheriff’s Office Investigators conducted over 200 hours of interviews and hundreds of hours of surveillance during the investigation. The Sheriff’s Office combed over 100,000 pages of social media transcripts of conversations between narcotics traffickers, dealers and users. Defendants were directly linked to Cartel Drug Trafficking Organizations within Mexico and the U.S. Affiliates of these organizations were directly responsible for delivering multi-kilogram qualities of meth to the Hamilton, Erath and Comanche County regions of Texas. One defendant admitted to possessing and distributing over 200 kilograms of meth from sources directly tied to Mexican Cartel Drug Traffickers. Other Defendants were directly tied to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Aryan Circle, Tango Blast and Bloods Criminal Street Gangs.
It was later discovered this case was connected with an ongoing DEA Eastern District criminal case. DEA Agents and the U.S. Federal Prosecutor traveled to Hamilton, Texas in the spring of 2022 to meet with Sheriff Caraway and Narcotics Investigators. After the meeting, it was agreed the Sheriff’s Office would provide information aiding in prosecuting other defendants in the Eastern District and further submit their criminal investigation for federal prosecution.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division returned an indictment for the following defendants:
- 35-year-old Ricky Castillo, of Irving
- 25-year-old Brandon Leon Kimberling, of Dallas
- 25-year-old Desiree Traxel, of Dallas
- 33-year-old Sandi Kristine Villicana, of Arlington
- 41-year-old Chad Anthony Hughes, of Dallas
- 33-year-old Kevin Priesley Srader, of Hamilton
- 33-year-old Kristin Nicole O’Dell, of Stephenville
- 35-year-old Justin Scott Allbright, of Stephenville
- Michael Brandon Downey, of Stephenville
- 33-year-old Sandra Fay Rhodes, of Hico
- 35-year-old Cathlene Cecile Callahan, of Hico
- 36-year-old Jeffrey Don Champion, of Stephenville
- 43-year-old James Edwin Smithof Stephenville
- 22-year-old Dustie Lee Been, of Stephenville
- 37-year-old Cassandra Bowerof Dallas
- 47-year-old Genna Ann Long, of Stephenville
- 42-year-old Lyndon Kale Coker, of Hico
- 30-year-old Jerry DeWayne Knight, of Stephenville
- 34-year-old Kendon “Keno” DaWayne Baker, of Stephenville
- 41-year-old Lois Ann Srader, of Stephenville
- 42-year-old Claud Thomas Taylor, of Stephenville
- 24-year-old Megan Diane Cameron, of Stephenville
Each defendant was indicted for knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to manufacture and distribute 500 grams or more or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of meth and 50 grams of more of meth (actual).
When convicted, each defendant can be sentenced to not less than ten years and not more than life imprisonment – a fine not exceeding $10 million, or both – supervised release of at least five years.
Sheriff Justin Caraway stated, “This was a great effort to stop the flow of narcotics to our rural communities and sends a message to those who may try to deal meth in the future in Hamilton County. The investigation continues with more arrests still to come. We feel there are more Defendants still tied to this criminal enterprise and we will not stop until each one is brought to justice. It should be noted that five other Defendants were federally indicted directly linked to Operation Long Reach within other Agencies criminal investigations. Information from the HCSO’s investigation was used to help sentence those individuals as well. Operation Long Reach found the Defendants were responsible for the distribution of a minimum of 500 kilograms of methamphetamine (1,100 pounds) with a street dealer value in excess of 24 million dollars. This cell was tied directly to Mexican Drug Cartels.”