DPS Officials Say 19 People Involved in Smurfing Case - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Two of 19 People Arrested in Smurfing Case Indicted

2 of 19 people connected to a smurfing bust have been indicted by a Wichita County grand jury.  It's a multi-year investigation that was led by the DPS Criminal Investigation Division.  Authorities say not all the suspects know each other, but there are all somehow connected with this meth case.

It's one of the largest smurfing cases the department has seen.  The suspects are accused of buying more than 3,400 boxes of pseudoephedrine.

"To put that into perspective that would be enough to produce 19 pounds of meth and that would be over 3 quarters of a million dollars worth of meth on the streets," said DPS Trooper Tony Fulton.

Agents sifted through logs of individuals purchasing large amounts of pseudoephedrine at pharmacies, some names stuck out more than others, for agents that was their green light.  That's when they begin watching those people to see whether or not they are using the pseudoephedrine to make and sell meth.

"It's legal product, it's cold medicine we all take but it's when a particular person who shows up in these logs over and over and over.  It becomes apparent they're not using it for it's intended purpose," said Fulton.

They 11 people arrested are:  

Thirty-five-year-old Amy Rachelle Hardesty, 28-year-old Crystal Renae Gee, 34-year-old Manuel Anthony Garcia, 54-year-old Ricky Warren Yokley, 35-year-old William Earl Strickland, 44-year-old Brad Alan Roach, 31-year-old Rebecca Hope Tellez, 23-year-old Dallas Wade Reeves, 38-year-old Peyton Michelle Parkerson, 62-year-old William Thomas Walker, and 38-year-old Patricia Lee Taylor.

According to the affidavits some individuals purchased as much as 200 to 300 boxes of pseudoephedrine.

The Pharmaceutical pseudoephedrine law went into effect in 2005.  It requires pharmacies to ask for ID when someone buys over the counter pseudoephedrine and then sign for it.  Trooper Fulton says it has led to the arrests of many people who engage in making and selling meth.

Brad Roach and Rebecca Tellez have each been indicted on one count of possession/transport chemicals with intent to manufacture.

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