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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

11 Alleged Fentanyl Traffickers Charged in Amarillo Takedown

During the bust, agents and officers also seized six firearms, hundreds of fake M-30 fentanyl pills and bulk US currency.   

Ten alleged fentanyl traffickers were arrested in Amarillo, Texas on federal drug charges, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton. One additional defendant who was already in state custody has also been charged federally.

During the bust, agents and officers also seized six firearms, hundreds of fake M-30 fentanyl pills and bulk US currency.

The defendants were charged in a seven-count indictment unsealed today. Those charged include:

  1. Gary Eugene Carlisle, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  2. Robert Tucker Witt, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  3. Rebecca Ann Schmitkons, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  4. Julian Gabriel Apodaca, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  5. Rachel Lynn Waddell, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl
  6. T Blue Bloomer, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl
  7. Michael David Winbigler, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  8. Lucas Paul Blanke, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  9. Elesaio Ben Guzman Maestas, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  10.  Katherine Valencia-Morales, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
  11.  Kylie Nicole James, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl

“We are tireless in our fight against fentanyl traffickers in the Northern District of Texas and are doing whatever we can to stem the flow of fentanyl into the Amarillo area,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton.  “Each person lost to fentanyl is one person too many.  I encourage all parents and guardians to talk with young people about the dangers of taking any pill they get off the street, as it very possibly contains a deadly amount of fentanyl.  We are all in this fight together to stop the selling and buying of this deadly drug.”

“Criminal organizations are continuing to flood communities with fentanyl at an alarming rate,” said Eduardo A. Chávez, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Dallas, which covers all operations in Amarillo.  “This week, DEA Amarillo worked with our area law enforcement partners to investigate those responsible for selling this poison throughout the region.  We will keep going.  We will not stop until all members of this criminal organization are held accountable for their actions and to make our neighborhoods safer.  The potential for an individual to be harmed by illicit fentanyl is greater today than at any other time in our history, as seven out of ten fake pills contain a potential lethal amount of illicit fentanyl.”

Amarillo Police Chief Martin Birkenfeld states, “We are very thankful for our federal law enforcement partners that work with us on a daily basis to make our city safer. Fentanyl is sickening and killing people in Amarillo and this is unacceptable. We will continue to hold drug dealers accountable and do everything in our power to bring justice to families who are victimized by these potential murderers.”

An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years on each count.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Amarillo Police Department’s Proactive Criminal Enforcement (PACE) Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Marie Bell is prosecuting the case.

Read more at the Justice Department

Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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