Federal Drug Bust at Fort Worth Clothing Store
An alleged methamphetamine ring operating out of a clothing store in Fort Worth was broken by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on October 14, 2020. Charges against 30 individuals took place as part of an investigation called “Operation Ice Tank,” led by the local DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Group. The criminal charge is for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith. Convictions would result in the defendants facing up to 40 years in prison. Five of the people charged were already in custody, four were fugitives, and 21 were arrested.
Authorities established evidence through wiretaps, surveillance, and speaking with informants that lead them to believe store owner, Johnny Ray Rodriguez, Jr., was the ringleader and used a back room of Funky Town Swag to sell crystal meth. The now-shuttered shop is located in a Berry Street shopping center across from R.L. Paschal High School and just a few blocks from Texas Christian University. Its merchandise included clothing, shoes, and accessories.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Rodriguez had dealers working for him that sold “kilogram quantities of crystal meth out of Funky Town’s back office as well as several trap houses, a local motel, and a car wash.” Inside a house in Fort Worth, Rodriguez, with the help of his cousin and others, supposedly built a meth conversion lab. Agents found 27 igloo coolers, three jugs of acetone, a bucket of methylsulfonylmethane, one container of liquid meth, and two containers of crystal meth. Several bags of crystal meth were discovered inside a washing machine, as well as a loaded revolver in a bedroom. Investigators recovered a total of nine firearms, 16 kilograms of methamphetamine, and nine ounces of heroin.
What Law Enforcement Officials Have to Say
Authorities have seized the opportunity of this case to make public statements that demonstrate their heavy-handed approach toward illegal drug distribution. U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas declared, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA are determined to root out large-scale distribution operations like this one.”
In addition, Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Dallas Field Division, took his stand by saying, “Methamphetamine trafficking has no place in Tarrant County. Individuals and organizations who not only distribute this poison in our communities but also endanger innocent lives by converting liquid meth to crystals in makeshift laboratories cannot be tolerated. The DEA and our partners from Fort Worth, Haltom City, and North Richland Hills, remain committed to [keeping] neighborhoods free from the scourge of illicit drugs.”
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Stands With You Against Federal Drug Charges
Being accused of a drug crime is a serious offense and can have long-term negative effects on your life, so you need a strong, experienced legal team on your side. The strategic and persuasive criminal defense that Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian has to offer will help you fight drug charges. We invite you to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Contact us today at (972) 369-0577 or online.