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Irving Weekly Title

Dallas, Texas News

Final Defendant Sentenced in Large-Scale Drug and Gun Bust in Lubbock

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton, announced the sentencing of the last defendant involved in a major drug and gun operation in Lubbock, which took place in July 2023.

A total of 23 defendants received sentences amounting to a combined 218 years in federal prison.

The final defendant, Beatrice Eunice Gutierrez, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix to 18 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

"Project Safe Neighborhoods is designed to target an area’s most dangerous offenders. Key to the initiative’s success are productive partnerships between state, federal, and local law enforcement," stated U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. "We hope the Lubbock community will feel more at ease knowing these defendants will spend significant time off their streets and behind bars."

The group has been linked to at least one fatal overdose involving a victim identified as T.F. who was found surrounded by blue pills containing fentanyl.

Law enforcement seized significant amounts of illegal substances and firearms during the investigation, including fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, heroin, oxycodone, cocaine, firearms, and cash.

The defendants faced various charges related to drug trafficking and possession, as well as illegal firearm possession. Many of them had extensive criminal histories.

The following individuals were among those arrested and sentenced:

  • Steven Paul Echols
  • Rachel Michelle Melendez
  • Nicolas Blake Pereida
  • Brent Reed Angelle
  • Alexus Michelle Grubelnik
  • Beatrice Eunice Gutierrez
  • Erik Hans Grosstueck
  • Brian Jacob Miller
  • Alexander Erik Pierce
  • Christian Carlisle Enochs
  • Brannon Mikel Burns
  • Matthew Ryan Chandler
  • Loddy Max Montoya
  • Trey Matthew Parrish
  • Glen Donnell Nall, Jr.
  • Anthony Ray Morales
  • Ronny Paul Spruiell
  • Kevontae Jalil Hawthorne
  • Daniel Anthony Moreno
  • Ethan Tyler Nieto
  • Martin Rosalez III, aka Wedo
  • Roberto Salinas, Jr.
  • Tevin Terelle Carrington

The investigation and arrest operation involved multiple law enforcement agencies:

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division – Lubbock Resident Agency
  • Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division – Lubbock Resident Agency
  • United States Marshal Service
  • Caprock HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Lubbock Police Department
  • Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office
  • Texas Anti-Gang Task Force

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long along with a team of other prosecutors.

The case falls under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program, established to combat drug trafficking and associated criminal activities through a coordinated, multi-agency approach.

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