— By CHRISTIN COYNE
One of six people indicted in May 2011 on charges of making methamphetamine and distributing it in Parker County pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony charge and received 20 years in prison from a Parker County jury last week.
Shannon Lewis Burns, 44, of Arlington, pleaded guilty to engaging in organized criminal activity by conspiring to manufacture more than 400 grams of methamphetamine, court records indicate.
Department of Public Safety CID investigators reportedly began a months-long investigation in 2010 after area pharmacies alerted authorities that individuals were buying products to make methamphetamine.
“Runners” in the group were purchasing pseudoephedrine pills in Parker County and bringing them to Arlington, DPS reported.
Investigators executed search warrants in October 2010 at two Arlington homes, one in the 4500 block of Trowbridge Drive and one in the 4600 block of Oak Creek Drive, and located meth labs at both addresses, according to DPS.
Though they didn’t find large amounts of methamphetamine, investigators did reportedly locate supplies to make the drug and glassware used in the process, along with extensive surveillance equipment.
Some of the large amount of methamphetamine being produced in Arlington was returning to Parker County, according to DPS.
Burns, along with Weatherford residents James Michael Wiley and Peggy Colleen O’Kelley and Arlington residents Sheila Jane Smith, Geral Ray Pearce and Melinda Nell Pearce, were indicted on the charges.
Meth labs are uncommon, DPS Lt. Doug Wood told the Democrat at the time, adding that meth made in Mexico and transported across the border to the Dallas/Fort Worth area before being purchased by area residents is cheap.
Cases against the other five defendants remain pending, according to court records.