A group of Houston residents, believed to be members of a gang in Houston’s Fifth Ward, were recently arrested and charged with a variety of drug-related crimes. The arrests were the outcome of a lengthy joint investigation involving the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Harris County Money Laundering Task Force, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the Houston Police Department.
The investigation focused on a house in the Cypress Creek Landing neighborhood in northwest Harris County. Police believed that the house was a “stash” location that was used by the suspects to store and manufacture drugs while they were being held for sale.
Police obtained a search warrant after conducting surveillance of the house for an entire day. Neighbors had told police that they saw cars visiting the house at all hours of the day and night. No cars have been seen at the house since the raid by law enforcement officers.
Investigators were able to identify suspects from the similarity of methods used to enter and burglarize the pharmacies. One or more suspects would break a window to gain entry, and the other members would then enter the building. suspects kept close to the floor to escape detection by motion monitors.
The results of the raid
According to news media that were covering the story, the raid netted $79,000 in cash, jewelry whose estimated value was $330,000, and various drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, marijuana, mushrooms, and phencyclidine. Photos obtained by the media also showed several firearms and three pill pressing machines. The estimated value of the drugs found by investigators came to $1,500,000.
Criminal charges stemming from the raid include possession of Schedule Two through Five of controlled substances with intent to distribute, pharmacy burglary, and conspiracy to commit pharmacy burglary.