MANSFIELD — The arrest of a Joaquin, Texas man suspected of trafficking millions of dollars in methamphetamine into East Texas and northwest Louisiana will put a big dent into the local drug trade, two sheriffs said Tuesday during a joint news conference.
DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle and Shelby County, Texas, Sheriff Newton Johnson said the arrest of David Shane Adkinson, 37, last week culminates an eight-month multi-jurisdictional investigation that spanned a half-dozen Louisiana parishes and Texas counties. Along with Adkinson, 13 alleged accomplices have been jailed, including five identified Wednesday. And another 15 are expected to be indicted soon by a federal grand jury.
Investigators believe Adkinson was responsible for supplying 90 percent of the methamphetamine supply in the area, Arbuckle said. So his arrest will put a “major dent” into drug trafficking, Johnson added.
Adkinson is accused of selling an estimated 10 to 15 pounds of methamphetamine “ice” a month to dealers in Shelby and Panola counties as well as DeSoto, Caddo, Bossier and Red River parishes. On the street, that easily could equate into $3 million or more in sales.
Authorities admit Adkinson was difficult to trail since he rarely stayed in one place more than two nights in a row. He had been the subject of BOLOs (be on the lookout) by law enforcement agencies in both states because he had made it known he would not go to jail.
Adkinson was “considered a serious suspect,” Arbuckle said. However, once captured “he worked with us.”
Approximately 6 pounds of methamphetamine, with a street value of about $1 million, has been seized with Adkinson’s and the others’ arrests. Shelby County sheriff’s officials put the wholesale value of the drugs at $265,000. But after the methamphetamine is “cut” with other substances to expand its quantity, the value can triple or quadruple by the time it reaches street dealers.
Additionally, arresting agencies have recovered more than $100,000, numerous vehicles and property which will go through asset forfeiture proceedings.
Arbuckle and Newton credit their working relationship across the state line with the success of the investigation. Both departments were able to pool their resources under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, with participation from the Tri-Parish Drug Task Force, Shelby and Panola County sheriffs’ officers, U.S. Attorney’s office, FBI Task Force, DEA and Texas Department of Public Safety.
The investigation reached into Houston, which is where authorities say Adkinson was getting the methamphetamine. After Adkinson’s arrest Feb. 28 during a traffic stop by Texas DPS in Joaquin — where $97,000, 4 ounces of methamphetamine and a firearm were seized — authorities followed up on leads that led to the arrest that night of Michael Scott Gay, 37, of Shelbyville, Texas, and the seizure of 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine.
Then two men from Houston — Felix Rubio, 19, and Jovanny Rubio, 26 — were apprehended Friday with 2.2 pounds of methamphetamine in their possession. Authorities are uncertain of the family relationship between the two men, but confirmed Jovanny Rubio is an illegal alien who has been indicted for other organized crime activity. Bond for both is set at $1 million in Shelby County.
DeSoto sheriff’s deputies filled in a piece of the puzzle Feb. 1 with the arrest of Jennifer Jill Stewart, 34, of Joaquin, on a traffic stop in Logansport. A half-ounce of methamphetamine and $22,700 linked to Adkinson were seized, Arbuckle said.
More arrests are expected in the coming weeks as the investigation continues, Johnson said.
A press conference was held today, March 6, at the De Soto Parrish Sheriff’s Department in Mansfield Louisiana. Both Sheriff Newton Johnson and Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle made statements regarding a large methamphetamine drug bust, of which both the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the De Soto Parrish Sheriff’s Department took part. Following the press conference, a press release was issued by Sheriff Newton Johnson which reads as follows:
Sheriff Newton Johnson reports that a major crystal methamphetamine distribution ring has been busted resulting in numerous arrests. This drug operation had ties to Shelby County, Houston, Shreveport and DeSoto Parish Louisiana. This investigation has resulted in the arrest of 13 people to date with the arrest of another 15 people expected in the near future. These arrests will mainly involve persons from Texas and Louisiana.
This has been an eight-month OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) investigation into the trafficking of large quantities of Methamphetamine from Houston, to Shelby County, DeSoto Parrish, Caddo Parrish and Bossier Parrish Louisiana.
Several Law Enforcement agencies were involved in this investigation including the United States Attorney’s offices in the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Louisiana, Texas Department of Public Safety Narcotics Division, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, DeSoto Parrish, Louisiana Sheriff’s Department, The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
This investigation began several months ago and was part of a multi-agency task force set up to target the methamphetamine distribution in Texas and Louisiana.
According to Sheriff Johnson, five of those 13 arrests have occurred here in Shelby County. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, David “Shane” Adkinson, 36 , was arrested along with Jennifer Jill Stewart, 33. At the time of this arrest officers seized approximately $97,479 cash and several ounces of crystal methamphetamine.
The arrest of Adkinson and Stewart then led to another arrest later that night in Shelby County. Michael Scott Gay, 37, was arrested and had in his possession approximately three and a half pounds of high grade crystal methamphetamine.
The arrest of Michael Gay then led to the arrest of two other subjects on March 2, 2012 here in Shelby County. On Friday night Felix Rubio, 19, and Jovanny Rubio,26, were arrested and charged with possession of a Kilo (approx 2.2 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine. Bonds for the Rubio’s were set at $1,000,000 each and they remain in the Shelby County Jail.
The wholesale value of the Crystal Methamphetamine seized during these five arrests here in Shelby County is approximately $265,000 before the methamphetamine is “cut”. Drug dealers will take a quantity of narcotics and add another substance to the narcotics to multiply the quantity for sale on the street. The actual street value of the methamphetamine seized during this operation could be as much as $1,000,000.
Sheriff Johnson says more arrests will be made during the coming weeks as this investigation continues. Sheriff Johnson would also like to thank all the officers from various agencies who assisted in making these arrests possible.
Sheriff Johnson also wants to remind the drug dealers in Shelby County, “you have to stay one step ahead of us everyday, we only have to get a step ahead of you on just one day”.