NEW BRAUNFELS — Law enforcement authorities boasted Thursday in New Braunfels about taking down a multi-state drug-peddling organization and hauling in 15 dealers and more than half a million dollars in ill-gotten gains.
Authorities are seizing a New Braunfels campground where they say they learned crystal methamphetamine was being sold and investigation of which led to the gang’s capture.
“This is one less criminal organization and group that will not impact our community and family and kids,” said Mauricio Fernandez of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Because of that we can sleep better at night.”
The drug bust was an 18-month long process involving law enforcers from New Braunfels Police Department, Comal and Guadalupe county sheriff’s offices, the Comal County criminal district attorney’s office, the DEA and others, said Fernandez, DEA special agent in charge of the San Antonio district office. He said agents seized thousands of dollars in cars, cash, drugs, guns and other property in an investigation that stretched from Atlanta, to California and across parts of Texas, including Austin, Dallas, New Braunfels and San Antonio.
Fernandez said the dealers sold crystal meth at Goodtime Campground on River Road with the owner’s knowledge. He said the group pushed about 25 pounds of the drug per month at a wholesale value of about $20,000 per pound.
He said at least one of the suspect’s arrested was linked to La Familia Michoacana, a Mexican drug trafficking organization. With law enforcement agencies cooperating across the nation in this way, Fernandez said, drug dealers are in trouble.
“You cannot hide from us,” he said.
Jennifer Tharp, Comal County district attorney, provided a similar sentiment.
“If there is drug trafficking in this community, we will take a hard stance on it,” she said, adding even if that means calling in federal investigators as was done for the bust announced Thursday.
Fernandez said the suspects, if convicted, face a minimum of 10 years and possibly life in prison. He said seven of the 15 arrests took place in Comal County.
NBPD Chief Tom Wibert said his officers began the investigation. Once they realized the scope of it, they called in help from other agencies.
“Our sleepy little community has drug trafficking just like everywhere else,” Wibert said. “It’s good to have friends.”