14 arrested in drug trafficking, conspiracy charges


November 2, 2023

According to a release from the Erath County Sheriff’s Office, a total of 14 individuals have been arrested and are now in custody following an operation led by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), officers with the Stephenville Police Department (SPD) and deputies with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO), on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges outlined in a criminal indictment filed on October 2. Defendants arrested on Wednesday, October 11, made their initial appearance on Thursday, October 12, before US Magistrate Judge Jeffery L. Cureton.

The indictment charges 20 defendants with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute. Fourteen of those defendants have been arrested in the operation, two are in custody at various locations on unrelated state charges, and four have not yet been arrested.

The investigation began in December 2021 when the SPD and the ECSO began investigating the methamphetamine and heroin trafficking of the Dylan Wokaly Drug Trafficking Organization

(DTO) and identified numerous individuals distributing for, or obtaining methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl from, that DTO.

The investigation involved undercover purchases and search warrants, and throughout the investigation, substantial amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and cash were seized from the DTO. Law enforcement learned that this DTO, based in and around Fort Worth, was allegedly responsible for distributing hundreds of multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in Tarrant County, Erath County, Parker County, Brown County, and Coleman County.

In addition, law enforcement has dismantled several of the DO’s suppliers, and it continues to investigate others that remain in operation.

A federal criminal indictment is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The statutory penalty, upon conviction, for the offense charged is not less than five years or more than 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith.

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