In a sweeping drug crackdown, 20 individuals were taken into custody on Wednesday, as reported by Leigha Simonton, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Your Content has learned.
The operation resulted in 14 separate indictments, with charges ranging from fentanyl and methamphetamine distribution to firearm possession by convicted felons. Seven individuals implicated in the operation are still on the run.
Among those arrested were Erik Hans Grosstueck, Brian Jacob Miller, Alexander Erik Pierce, Matthew Ryan Chandler, and Loddy Max Montoya, all charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, among other charges.
Kevontae Jalil Hawthorne, Daniel Anthony Moreno, and others were indicted as felons in possession of firearms.
Several of the accused are linked to Lubbock’s Project Safe Neighborhood zone, a high-crime area where law enforcement agencies collaborate to curb violence and enhance community safety.
Many of the defendants have extensive criminal records, including offenses such as child sexual assault, aggravated assault, burglary, fraud, manufacture and delivery of controlled substances, and unlawful carrying of firearms.
It is important to note that an indictment is simply an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, some of the accused could face life sentences in federal prison.
The operation was a joint effort involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division Lubbock Resident Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division Lubbock Resident Agency, the United States Marshal Service, the Caprock HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Lubbock Police Department, the Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office, and the Texas Anti-Gang Task Force.
The prosecution is being led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long, with support from AUSAs Jeff Haag, Ann Howey, Callie Woolam, and Matt McLeod, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.