Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Texas cops on biker gang payroll

In small town West Texas, of all places,
Nearly 30 defendants, including two Texas sheriff's deputies, have been charged with operating a methamphetamine trafficking ring in Texas, Arizona and California, authorities announced Friday.

The 110-count indictment returned earlier this week in Lubbock charges members of the Aces and Eights Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, as well as two sheriff's deputies in Hockley County, Texas.

The indictment alleges motorcycle gang founder Bobby Duwayne Froman recruited fellow bikers to take cash to Modesto, Calif., where they bought large quantities of methamphetamine. The bikers then took the drug to Levelland, Texas, about 30 miles west of Lubbock. The group used Levelland as a base to distribute the drugs through West Texas and elsewhere.

The drug ring had been active since January 2003, officials said.

The deputies, Gordon Clark Bohannon and Jose Jesus Quintanilla, provided the gang members with information that hurt investigators efforts to shut down the ring, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Bohannon was arrested and will be arraigned July 20, according to court documents. His attorney declined to comment.

Quintanilla and Froman did not have attorneys listed in their online court records.

“It is particularly disappointing to all who conducted this investigation that two law enforcement officers were indicted by the grand jury and arrested on federal charges,” said Robert E. Casey Jr., the FBI special agent in charge. “The FBI's principal concern in this case is not only the safety and security of the law-abiding citizens of Hockley County, but that their trust and confidence in law enforcement is preserved.”

Twenty-eight defendants each face one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The indictment also charges some of the defendants with maintaining drug-involved premises, possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, simple possession of methamphetamine, unlawful use of a communications facility and various firearms counts.

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