Officials say a 30-year-old man who owned a clothing store in Fort Worth was allegedly the leader of a methamphetamine distribution ring that included 29 others.
Johnny Ray Rodgriguez Jr., who owned Funky Town Swag on West Berry Street, and 29 other members in the ring have been charged with drug crimes, the office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced Friday in a news release.
Twenty-one of the defendants were arrested Wednesday, five were bonded over from state custody and four remain on the run, the attorney's office said.
All 30 were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
The ring was allegedly led by Rodriguez, who was allegedly aided by his cousin Jonathan Rodriguez, 31, and Jonathan's girlfriend Chelsea Ann Pineiro, 31, and 33-year-old Yvette Gonzalez, the office said.
Based on surveillance, multiple wiretaps, and interviews with cooperators, investigators determined that dealers working for Rodriguez allegedly distributed kilogram quantities of crystal meth out of Funky Town’s back office as well as several trap houses, a local motel, and a car wash, the office said.
They allegedly attempted to erect a meth conversion lab inside a residence in Fort Worth.
At the kitchen of the home, law enforcement agents found 27 igloo coolers, a bucket of methylsulfonylmethane (a horse vitamin often used as a cutting agent), three jugs of acetone, one container of liquid meth and two containers of crystal meth, the office said.
They also found several zip-top baggies of crystal meth stashed inside the washing machine and a loaded revolver in the master bedroom, the office said. Investigators collectively recovered 8 kilograms of methamphetamine from inside the residence.
During the arrests, investigators seized 16 kilograms of methamphetamine, 9 ounces of heroin and nine firearms.
Charged defendants include:
• Johnny Ray Rodriguez
• Jonathan Rodriguez
• Chelsea Ann Pineiro
• Yvette Gonzales
• Norma Casio
• Israel Rodriguez
• Derrick Fannin
• Montreal Robinson
• Michael Johnson
• Nathan Cook
• Enrique Faz
• Roshua White
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 40 years in federal prison.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Fort Worth Police Department, the Haltom City Police Department, and the North Richland Hills Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith is prosecuting the case.