Indictment returned in drug ring
There have been new developments in a case involving an area drug ring. A 23-count indictment was returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Amarillo, Texas, that charges eight residents of the Texas panhandle with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and other substantive felony drug offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The indictment alleges that each of the following defendants, residents of Dumas, Amarillo, and Borger, Texas, ran a conspiracy from June 2010 to May 2012 to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine: Victor Manuel Chavez, Jr., 28, Dumas; Carlos Martin Gonzales, 25, Dumas; Datra Chevalier Johnson, 26, formerly of Amarillo; Olen Clyde Cargill, II, 36, formerly of Dumas; Cosme Chavez, 47, Dumas; Sergio Ruben Ramirez, 42, Dumas, Carlos Carrasco, 40, Borger, and Jose Elias Orozco, 48, Dumas.Each of the defendants is charged with at least one substantive felony drug (cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana) offense. Defendants Victor Chavez and Datra Chevalier Johnson are also each charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Law enforcement executed several search warrants and seized high-end vehicles, $10,000 in currency and approximately two kilograms of cocaine.The investigation involved numerous undercover purchases involving significant quantities of cocaine, as well as quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana, and large sums of cash.According to Saldaña, a federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy count carries a statutory sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. The remaining substantive drug counts carry maximum statutory sentences of 5, 20 and 40 years in prison and fines between $250,000 and $5 million. The firearms count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.