DEA Takes Down Major Drug Ring in the Heart of Texas


BRADY, TX – Nearly 30 people were arrested in Brady Friday morning during a drug trafficking sting operation led by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

According to KNEL, on Apr. 27, law enforcement officers with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Brady Police Department and McCulloch County Sheriff’s Office arrested the following suspects for first degree felony drug charges:

  • Joe Castanuela
  • Charles Cook
  • Rachael Davenport
  • Jeffery Friar
  • Joshua Friar
  • Justin Friar - Friar was wanted in Jan. 2020 after being involved in a shootout with Texas DPS. For more see: Fugitive Who Shot at Troopers Captured in Miles
  • John David Gonzales
  • Brenda Hinds
  • Jennifer Huro
  • Roger Miller
  • Tina Quilliam
  • Timothy Richardson
  • Paul Smith
  • Ty Thomas
  • Valerie Solis
  • Jeffrey Wiley
  • Brittany Crowder
  • Abel Castanuela Rodriguez
  • Nine Unnamed Suspects

The suspects were arrested for charges related to drug trafficking. The DEA says that this operation was one year in the making and involved sixty officers from multiple agencies.

“This operation was very well organized with many department working together to achieve a very positive outcome,” said 452 District Attorney Tonya Spaeth Ahlschwede. “Law enforcement has done their job very well today and now it’s time for the court system to do the same. The punishment should fit the crime."

After the investigation of the drug ring, first degree felony indictments were issued and the roundup was strategically set for Friday morning starting at 6:00AM. Law enforcement was equally divided between four groups and were sent out throughout the city to arrest members of the ring at the same time. After each arrest, the alleged drug traffickers were taken to the Heart of Texas Events Center to be processed and then transported to the McCulloch County jail.

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