Meth ring was led by owner of Fort Worth clothing store Funky Town Swag, DEA alleges
Inside the kitchen of a Fort Worth home were 27 coolers, three jugs of acetone and a bucket of a horse vitamin often used as an agent to cut methamphetamine.
Also in the attempted lab were zip-top baggies of crystal meth in a washing machine and a loaded revolver in the master bedroom, law enforcement authorities alleged on Thursday.
Investigators said they found eight kilograms of methamphetamine.
Johnny Rodriguez Jr. tried to build a conversion lab in the home with the help of his cousin, 31-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez, Jonathan’s girlfriend, 31-year-old Chelsea Ann Pineiro, and 33-year-old Yvette Gonzalez, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.
Dealers working for Rodriguez, the 30-year-old owner of Funky Town Swag, sold kilograms of crystal meth from the Fort Worth clothing store’s back office and from trap houses, a motel and a car wash, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.
Thirty members of the Rodriguez-led methamphetamine distribution ring were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox said. Twenty-one were arrested on Wednesday. If convicted, each faces up to 40 years in prison.
The investigation is based on surveillance, wiretaps and interviews with cooperators and was led by DEA Dallas field division’s high intensity drug trafficking group.
During the arrests, investigators seized 16 kilograms of methamphetamine, nine ounces of heroin and nine firearms.
“Methamphetamine trafficking has no place in Tarrant County,” Eduardo Chavez, special agent in charge of the DEA Dallas field division, wrote in a statement. “Individuals and organizations who not only distribute this poison in our communities, but also endanger innocent lives by converting liquid meth to crystals in makeshift laboratories cannot be tolerated.”
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