AUSTIN (KXAN) — FBI officials say two Austin lawyers have been arrested in a federal drug ring — one involving 24 people. Authorities say attorneys Richard Patrick Fagerberg, 45, and David Ramos, 39, have been arrested for their roles in a cocaine and methamphetamine distribution operation. Ten people were already in custody before Thursday, charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
The defendants have allegedly participated in a conspiracy to distribute various amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine since May 2013, indictments say. During this 16-month-long operation, authorities have seized approximately 87 kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of methamphetamine, four firearms — close to $1.5 million in criminally derived assets in connection with this investigation.
“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities. DEA, and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in Austin and throughout Texas, will remain relentless in our pursuit of the vicious criminal individuals and drug trafficking organizations who threaten our safety and stability,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit. “These arrests send a strong and unified message that these crimes will not be tolerated in our communities and those who commit these offenses will be brought to justice.”
If convicted, the defendants face statutory penalties of between 10 years and life imprisonment or between five and 40 years imprisonment.
“Organized crime and drug trafficking are a serious threat to public safety in Texas, and DPS vigilantly works alongside our law enforcement partners to detect, deter and dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in our communities,” said DPS Regional Commander Freeman Martin. “This long-term investigation is an ideal example of how law enforcement at all levels works together to put suspected criminals behind bars and protect Texans.”
These charges and arrests resulted from an investigation conducted by the Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, Task Force.
Agencies that make up Austin HIDTA Task Force
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Austin Police Department
- Travis County Sheriff’s Office
- Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office
- Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
- Hays County Sheriff’s Office
- Cedar Park Police Department
- Georgetown Police Department
Other agencies that participated in Thursday’s arrests include Homeland Security Investigations; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; United States Marshals Service; Round Rock Police Department; Travis County District Attorney’s Office; and the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office.