Police: Investigation uncovers ETX heroin ring, more arrests to - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Police: Investigation uncovers ETX heroin ring, more arrests to come

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UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Eight East Texans were arrested and more will soon be behind bars after authorities broke up what they say was a heroin ring in Gilmer.

After a nine-month investigation, the Gilmer Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and DPS executed arrest warrants on seven individuals.

Seven of the eight people were indicted on charges for conspiracy to distribute heroin. Gilmer Police say more indictments have been handed down and others will soon be arrested, too.

The landlord of one of the homes where the arrests happened says he was shocked to learn the woman living there was indicted on drug charges for possession and intent to distribute heroin.

Neighbor Peggy Meyer says at first she and her husband didn't think anything of all the cars at their neighbor's home Tuesday morning, but that quickly changed.
 
"He took the trash out and he came back in and said, 'You know, I thought we were having a garage sale next door but, I don't think so,' he said, 'I saw the guns and the vests and everything,' and he said, 'I don't think it's a yard sale.'"

As soon as they noticed something was up, everything seemed to be over. Peggy says it has always been a quiet neighborhood and has quickly reverted back to just that

"Haven't heard a thing really... heard some kids playing and that was about it," she says.

Just down the road, Gilmer Police say they made more arrests.

"Federal indictments were issued for the arrest of several of these suspects, and the Gilmer Police Department and other federal agencies combined efforts in serving those warrants," says Gilmer Police Department Investigator Roxanne Warren.

Police say their investigation into this ring will turn more than 8 arrests. Other indictments have been issued for more suspects connected to the heroin ring, but their names and faces won't be released until they're behind bars and federal agents unseal the paperwork behind their arrests. Gilmer Police say Kilgore Police and the Upshur and Gregg County Sheriff's offices also assisted in serving the indictments and making the arrests. The U.S. attorney's office says members of the alleged heroin ring appeared before a judge in Texarkana Tuesday.

According to Gilmer police, the following people were indicted and arrested Tuesday:

- William Avery "Preacher" Griffin, 56, of Gilmer, was indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, two counts of distribution of heroin and aiding and abetting, one count of possession of intent to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting.

- Lindsey Noel Rawls, 23, of Gilmer, was indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin, one count of possession with the intent to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting.

- Denise Stewart Driggers, 55, of Gilmer, was indicted for three counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

- Ruby Faye Cooper, 55, of Gilmer, was indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and three counts of distribution of heroin and aiding and abetting.

- Paul Allen Wiggington, 55, of Gilmer, was man indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, four counts of distribution of heroin.

- Lidia Gail Brooks Olivares, 32, of Gilmer, was indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting, one count of distribution of heroin and aiding and abetting.

- Jerry Milton Bryant, 58, of Gilmer, was indicted for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and three counts of distribution of heroin and aiding and abetting.

During the service of these warrants, officers located firearms at the home of Lidia Brooks and Carlos Brooks. Therefore, Carlos Lopez Brooks, 45, of Gilmer, was arrested and charged with  felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with identification numbers.

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