In San Antonio and Austin this morning, federal, state and local authorities arrested seven members and associates of the Bloods gang on federal and state drug trafficking charges, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Houston Division; Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales; San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.
Arrested today include: Deuandre Jermore Williams, age 31 of San Antonio; Justin Tremayne Wooley, age 28 of Austin; Derek Deshon Williams, age 42 of Austin; Andre Jarrell Williams, age 32 of San Antonio; Marshall Lee Braddy, age 38 of San Antonio; and, Darrial Gene Carter, age 33 of Austin. Cynthia Corina Valdez, age 26 of San Antonio, remains a fugitive in this case.
A ten-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges these seven defendants, plus three other individuals who were already in custody prior to today—Johnny Earl Hughes, age 40 of Austin; Freddie Lee Scott, age 28 of San Antonio, and Salvador Barrios Mesas, age 38 of Austin—with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, “crack” cocaine, and/or methamphetamine. According to court records, the defendants, led by Deuandre Williams, allegedly distributed narcotics provided by Austin suppliers throughout San Antonio’s eastside since June 2016. The indictment also charges defendants with substantive drug trafficking charges—Justin Wooley with five; Deuandre Williams and Andre Williams with three; Derek Williams with two; and, Marshal Braddy, Cynthia Valdez, Freddy Scott, Darrial Carter, Johnny Hughes and Salvador Barrios-Mesas with one. Upon conviction, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison, or between five and 40 years in federal prison, depending on the amount of narcotics involved.
During today’s arrests, authorities seized a total of nine firearms, approximately 20 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine pills and quantities of cocaine and marijuana. Authorities also seized a significant, but undetermined, amount of U.S. Currency.
“Today’s operation marks a major strike in the battle against gangs in San Antonio. Ensuring that our streets are safe for every child, no matter where he or she lives, is the most important social-justice issue of our time. I am grateful to the DEA and our many other law-enforcement partners. I am also grateful to the Governor’s office for backing the important Texas Anti-Gang Center in San Antonio. It’s making a real difference,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
Authorities also arrested Henry Cochran, age 31 of San Antonio, this morning without incident. Cochran, Deuandre Williams and five other San Antonio Bloods gang members were indicted today by a state grand jury in Bexar County on charges including engaging in organized criminal activity, felon in possession, manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and evading with a vehicle. The other five include: Daveion Zacharie, age 22; Anthony Sanks, age 29; Trevon Campbell, age 25; Leon Smith, age 31; and, Quonta Newes, age 32.
“For too long, residents of San Antonio’s East Side have lived in fear of gang members like those arrested this morning that have sold drugs and committed violent crimes with no regard for the safety of the innocent. We stand with our partners in this collaborative effort to continue to protect all the citizens of Bexar County,” said Bexar County District Attorney Gonzales.
“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Glaspy. “DEA, along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in San Antonio, Austin and throughout Texas, will continue to coordinate and work closely together so that our citizens have that sense of security. We will aggressively target and relentlessly pursue those individuals who jeopardize our neighborhoods through violence, intimidation, and the distribution of illegal and dangerous drugs.”
These federal and state charges resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by members of the Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Center in San Antonio including, the DEA, FBI, San Antonio Police Department’s Gang Unit, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Also assisting in this investigation and today’s arrests include: the Bastrop Police Department, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, Leon Valley Police Department, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, San Antonio Airport Police and Garden Ridge Police Department.
The purpose of the TAG Center in San Antonio is to provide a one-stop information sharing environment, between federal, state and local law enforcement to combat and target gang violence in and around San Antonio. The goal is to disrupt the command and control of criminal gangs through prevention, intervention, and suppression of their unlawful enterprises. Since its initiation in January 2018, the TAG Center’s collaborative efforts and investigations conducted by the participating agencies collectively affected 375 total arrests. 294 arrests were gang members; 250 were felonies; and 44 misdemeanors. In addition 376 weapons were taken off the streets with the arrests of these gang members.
Today, the TAG Center in San Antonio is launching a new website in order to increase awareness of gang violence. Go to www.stopsanantoniogangs.org to learn more about the TAG Center in San Antonio and ways area citizens can make their community safer.
“I am confident that the Texas Anti-Gang Center in San Antonio will play an important role in the fight against violent crime and gang activity in Texas,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “This center will serve as a point of collaboration for law enforcement to dismantle criminal enterprises in San Antonio and put gang members behind bars. I remain committed to working with law enforcement to ensure a safe and secure future for the Lone Star State.”
“Gangs pose a significant threat to public safety, not only because of their penchant for violence and crime, but also their associations with ruthless Mexican cartels and other criminal organizations,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We are thankful for the governor’s leadership in expanding the Texas Anti-Gang centers across the state, and through this important initiative, we are bolstering our ability to protect Texans and combat violent gangs in the San Antonio area by working closely with our fellow law enforcement partners.”
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering operations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.