20 charged in Taylor-based crack cocaine and meth operation

Horace Lee Caruther (Williamson County Jail Photo from March 30, 2017)
Horace Lee Caruther (Williamson County Jail Photo from March 30, 2017)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Twenty people have been charged for their alleged roles in a crack cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking ring based out of Taylor, Texas, including the operation’s accused ringleader, 42-year-old Horace Lee Caruther.

A federal grand jury in Austin indicted the 20 people on Nov. 21, charging each with one count of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine. Nine of the defendants were also charged with a count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Most of the suspects, who go by aliases including “Bugs” and “La Coyota,” are from the Austin-area, but several are from Laredo and North Carolina.

In March, Caruther was arrested during a SWAT raid in Round Rock and charged with felony possession of a firearm. A large number of credit cards, driver’s licenses and social security cards were found in the home on Haley’s Way, which belonged to no one living at the house.

From July 2016 to October 2017, the Department of Justice says the drug ring was responsible for distributing large amounts of cocaine, meth and diverted pharmaceutical narcotics.

The accused would also collect, transport and launder cash made from the narcotics sold, which were taken across the United States.

Twenty-six people have been arrested as part of the investigation to date, along with the seizure of $161,020, six kilos of cocaine, two ounces of crack cocaine, 42 pounds of marijuana and three guns.

All of the defendants remain in federal custody pending detention hearings before a judge in Austin next week. On the drug conspiracy charge, the DOJ says the defendants face a mandatory 10 years to life imprisonment upon conviction. The defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction on the money laundering conspiracy charge.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the DEA Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, took part in the investigation.

Suspects indicted on Nov. 21

Name Age Residence
Horace Lee Caruther 42 Round Rock
Trevor Deshaun Hunt 25 Taylor
Gregory Bean Jr. 44 Pflugerville
William Collins (aka “Bugs”) 61 Taylor
James Wilbert McNeal 70 Round Rock
Robert Carl White 38 Temple
Daniel Sanchez-Benitez 38 Pflugerville
Angel Amado Rodriguez 23 Austin
Kenneth Xavier Garza 22 Pflugerville
Salomon Orozco-Benitez (aka “Viejito”) 33 Austin
David Ibarra 25 Broadway, N.C.
Esmeralda Rodriguez 22 Austin
Jesus Parra-Martinez 23 Austin
Jose Parra-Martinez 35 Austin
Sandra Parra-Velez (aka “La Coyota”) 33 Austin
Elias Montiel 26 Sandford, N.C.
Federico Alvarez-Mendoza 36 Cameron, N.C.
Maria Bustamante 52 Laredo
Ana Gonzalez 47 Laredo
Adriana Deleza 42 Laredo


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