PCSO crimes unit makes drug bust involving local teens

From left, Dedra Vick, property technician, and James Peel, Special Crimes Unit commander, of the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, going through some of the cash and drugs seized from two busts in the metroplex area.

The Parker County Sheriff’s Office Special Crimes Unit made a large drug bust and arrest on Dec. 6, followed by an additional one Wednesday night, that yielded $30,000 total and multiple types of drugs that were being sold to Parker County youth.

“Back in early October, there was a child’s parent that intercepted their Snapchat videos and alerted the police that there was one individual in Tarrant County that was utilizing Snapchat to sell THC, LSD, mushrooms, marijuana, to Parker County residents among other people as well,” SCU Commander James Peel said. “So we created an undercover profile and started communicating with the bad guys — we started doing some around-the-clock surveillance and partnered with agencies in the DFW area and federal government — and we were able to utilize some court-ordered surveillance and tracked the suspect all over North Texas, sometimes even into Oklahoma.”

Peel said they were able to obtain a search warrant in early December and executed it at the 25-year-old suspect’s home in Tarrant County.

“While we were executing the search warrant, there were five kids from Parker County at the house buying dope,” Peel said. “They all admitted to it, the suspect admitted to it, and the suspect then ran and was later apprehended by the Criminal Tracking Unit of the Fort Worth Police Department. We couldn’t have made this case without them and those relationships have taken years to forge.”

Peel said in making that arrest on Dec. 6, they confirmed that 20 Parker County residents, all under the age of 20, were continuously buying drugs from the suspect over the span of four to five months. The SCU was also able to locate the suspect’s source and that individual was arrested Wednesday.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said they are seeing an increase in drug transactions on social media.

“We are seeing an increase in drug cases involving social media and mobile messaging applications,” Fowler said. “These drug investigations often cross county lines and jurisdictional boundaries. There are no parts of the community that are immune, including our school districts.”

Because of an ongoing investigation, the suspects' names will not be revealed at this time, but are anticipated at a later date.

“We would like to thank the Fort Worth Police Department, which has been an invaluable tool in our investigations which cross county lines,” Fowler said. “We would also like to thank our Special Crimes Unit investigators who are instrumental in detecting drug activity and following the drugs to the source, regardless of what jurisdiction they are found in.”

The 1,239 grams of drugs that were seized included THC concentrates and edibles and vapes, oxycodone, marijuana, psilocybin (mushrooms), ecstasy/MDMA, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), DMT and cocaine as well as a total of $30,000 in cash.

“All these grams, you see it all the time, and a traffic stop is where it starts. Those grams came out of an ounce somewhere, those ounces came out of a pound, those pounds came out of a kilo and those kilos came out of a big load in the metroplex or out of state,” Fowler said. “And we are not going to ignore anything that affects the citizens of Parker County.”

Additional arrests and charges are pending at this time, including the five teens from Parker County that were located inside the suspect’s home.

“I see a lot of comments about legalization and a lot of people saying it’s ridiculous to put somebody in jail for one gram, but our burglaries, assaults, domestics, sexual predators all have one thing in common, drugs and it all starts there,” Peel said. “When they did a citizen survey in Weatherford and over 80 percent of the citizens of Weatherford stated that drug-enforcement was one of their most sought after, so we’re blessed in that Parker County still feels that way and they understand it.”

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