Four people are in custody, charged in connection to a drug bust in Wichita County Wednesday morning. It all started around 4:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Clover Lane - just south east of Sheppard Air Force Base.
Arrested are Gary Wayne Meeks, 54, the homeowner. Also taken-in were David Theodore Roosevelt, 37, Gorgena Kotulek, 46, and Shelly Lynn Martin, 38. Each are being charged with one count of Manufacture of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine - Over 400 Grams. All are being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
According to Wichita County Sheriff David Duke, a deputy on patrol smelled what he thought was a Meth lab. The SWAT team was assembled and warrants were gathered. The property was raided around 6:30 a.m. "We found a large amount of liquid methamphetamine that is produced, its in the back building our investigators are back there breaking that lab down. Not to mention there is powder dope inside the house. We're going to start to do a search of everything, there is a lot of things inside this house, its got a lot of clutter in it so were going to be doing a thorough search of the house," Duke said at the scene.
Duke says the amount of liquid Meth is somewhat high. Investigators seized 9,403 grams of the fluid, known as Meth oil. The oil is not sold on the street, but condensed into powder for use. Deputies found 19 grams of power Meth in the home. All together, the total street value adds up to between $500,000 and $750,000.
One thing that makes this bust stand out is that the property was rigged with what the Sheriff calls a sophisticated counter-surveillance system. Duke says that his team was aware of that, and worked to move-in quickly so as to surprise the suspects.
Several vehicles - including classic Corvettes and Mustangs - were impounded. Duke believes the Meeks may have traded drugs for the cars. "He has multiple cars and things that he has no line of income to show what he does to make his money. This is part of what happens when you get in the drug world, people swap things for drugs... this guy's claim is to be a mechanic but we know what he does, and everybody else knows what he does. He's been a pretty good manufacturer and a large distributor of methamphetamine," said Duke.
Duke says the vehicles may be sold once cleared through the justice system. The money will go back into the fight against Meth. "The drug offenders are paying for the canines that help find their drugs that help us take their money and take their cars and we sell it and we put the money in the bank and we buy more drug dogs and things to help fight them. It's a circle and I think its ironic and I think its very justified to do that,' said Duke.
Duke says Investigators had been aware of the home for some time. "This house here is another one of those houses we have in Wichita County that is a problem house with Methamphetamine, continually... narcotics traffic, it affects the neighborhood. We've had multiple complaints from people that live up and down this street in the neighborhood about the smell of narcotics being manufactured this individual lives on the property, owns the property he has been handled many times before for possession of controlled substances and methamphetamine," he said.
In November 2010, Meeks was arrested and charged with Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance after Deputies say an odor led them to search the same property. Meeks granted permission for the search and was arrested after Deputies say they found a can with a thick, colored liquid inside. The can also had a pink powder on it. According to officials, the substance tested positive for Meth.
The sheriff says this is a major bust and took down a major player in the crystal Meth comeback. "Meeks has been a pretty good manufacturer and a large distributor of methamphetamine in Wichita Falls which does have a large impact into the Wichita Falls proper area. We're glad that we was able to knock this guy off today," said Duke.