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August 13, 10

NEWS / Law Enforcement Arrests Six for Running Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Crack Cocaine Drug Distributio

If Convicted, Defendants Face Up to Life in Prison

WICHITA FALLS, TX—Six defendants, named in two indictments returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas last week, and unsealed this morning, have been arrested, without incident, by federal and local law enforcement on drug distribution conspiracy charges, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.

The arrests are the result of the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Vernon and Wichita Falls, Texas Police Departments, and the Wilbarger County District Attorney’s Office. During the course of executing several federal and state search and arrest warrants yesterday, law enforcement seized narcotics, drug distribution paraphernalia, firearms, and cash.

One indictment charges the following defendants, all from Vernon, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine:

* Armando Rodriguez, Jr., 43
* Abraham Socorro Garcia, 22
* Mario Escobar, Jr., 24
* John Thomas Coston, 26
* Beatrice Urista, 22

All of the above defendants were arrested yesterday and appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert K. Roach in U.S. District Court in Wichita Falls, Texas. All will remain in federal custody pending detention hearings set for next Monday and Tuesday before Judge Roach. In addition to the conspiracy charge, all are charged with at least one substantive count of distribution of cocaine and/or methamphetamine. This indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would require the defendants, upon conviction, to forfeit real estate as well as all proceeds received as a result of the offenses.

The other indictment charges one defendant, Jimmie Clifford Richardson, 47, also of Vernon, with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine) as well as with four substantive counts of distributing crack cocaine. This indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which will require Richardson, upon conviction, to forfeit all proceeds received as a result of his offenses.

Richardson was also arrested yesterday and appeared before Judge Roach this morning. He too will remain in custody pending his detention hearing next week.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison and a fine of several million dollars.

AUSA Jay Dewald of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, is in charge of the prosecution.

The investigation remains ongoing.




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