Seven Arrested In Large Scale Drug Conspiracy - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Seven Arrested In Large Scale Drug Conspiracy

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - All seven defendants charged in a federal indictment with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and firearms offenses are in custody. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement Wednesday. 

Of those seven defendants, four were arrested Tuesday, one was previously arrested and is in federal custody, and two are in state custody in Wichita and Tarrant counties awaiting transfer to federal custody. All seven defendants will make appearances in federal court in Wichita Falls before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert K. Roach on Wednesday and either remain in custody or be released on bond.

Each of the below-named defendants charged in the indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Fort Worth approximately two weeks ago and unsealed Wednesday, is charged with at least one count of conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, namely methamphetamine. In addition, some of the defendants are charged with firearms offenses.

The following are the seven defendants charged in the indictment:

  • Anthony Rueben Johnston, 27
  • Rachel Dawn Billen, 20
  • Louis Griego, Jr., aka "Big Lou," 44
  • Janis Hernandez, 30          
  • James Allan Holley, aka "Jimmy Holley," 33
  • Darren Scott Murphy, Jr., 25
  • Christina Gail Thompson, 31

A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.

If convicted however, each of the conspiracy counts and each of the substantive drug counts carry a maximum statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

The firearms offenses charged in Counts Two and Four carry a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The firearms offense charged in Count Three carries a statutory sentence of not less than five years and up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, the indictment includes a forfeiture allegation which would require the defendants to forfeit to the U.S. all proceeds obtained as a result of their offense.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.
                                   
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary F. Walters is in charge of the prosecution.

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