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New Details: Organized Crime Ring Accused of Meth Distribution Across Texas

Several of the people involved in an organized crime ring in Taylor and Jones Counties have pleaded guilty to their charges, while others are now scheduled for a trial.
Several of the people involved in an organized crime ring in Taylor and Jones Counties have pleaded guilty to their charges, while others are now scheduled for a trial.

As KTAB reported in early February, 18 people were indicted in Eastland County for their involvement in an organized crime ring.

According to the Eastland County District Attorney's office, the case began in March 2012, when Shawn Gautney and Holly Gordon were pulled over on Interstate 20 by a DPS Trooper.
 
Authorities say the pair had somewhere between four and 200 grams of methamphetamine in their possession -- and a criminal investigation into the drug ring began.

Months later, DPS agents arrested 16 more people for their involvement and they were indicted on November 14th by an Eastland Co. grand jury.

Prosecutors told KTAB Wednesday that Johnny Rasco out of Dallas is the alleged ringleader.

Rasco made his first appearance in court Wednesday and is now scheduled for a trial.

Two others also set trial dates Wednesday -- Kyle Ross of Rowlett and Troy Shelton of Abilene.

Four people have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to ten years probation, a $10,000 fine and one year at a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment program.

In April, Joseph Mays also pleaded guilty for his involvement.

He received a 30-year prison sentence because of a past organized crime incident.

All of the people are accused of being involved in methamphetamine distribution all over Texas.

However, none of them are from Eastland -- they are primarily from Taylor & Jones Counties.

The reason the cases are being handled in Eastland County is because the initial traffic stop happened in that jurisdiction.

According to Texas criminal code, "the offense of engaging in organized criminal activity may be prosecuted in any county in which any act is committed."

DPS officials said they do expect more arrests to come.
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