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[February 07, 2013]
Feds indict ex-officer and five others accused of meth conspiracy
Feb 07, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A federal grand jury in Midland indicted former Odessa police officer Jackie Lynn Thompson and five other Odessans on Wednesday in what the feds call a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Authorities said last week that Thompson, 38, served as a mid-level dealer. The supplier was 41-year-old Jaime Yrvegas Castillo, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration said in court last week. The other indicted suspects were 36-year-old Jesse Ubaldo Rodriguez, 24-year-old Isai Ramirez, 26-year-old Douglas James Lewis and 48-year-old Ernest Lee McCarty.
The indictment accuses the men of conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of meth since January 2012 and represents the first time that all the men were publicly linked together by authorities. An announcement of the indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Midland offered few details, and Lewis' believed role wasn't immediately clear. But federal complaints individually filed against the other suspects revealed circumstances surrounding their arrest.
Midland police and DEA agents arrested Castillo on Jan. 7 after they reported following him while he trafficked meth to County Line Adult Video Store, 6947 E. Commerce St. Authorities had been surveilling Castillo, according to a federal complaint against him, and discovered him with 390.8 grams of meth at the business. The complaint states Castillo confessed during an interrogation at the Midland Police Department and detailed his involvement with a drug trafficking ring.
Agents arrested Ramirez and Rodriguez on Jan. 15, after searching a home at 2349 McCormick St. The home belonged to Ramirez, who agents believed was holding meth for Rodriguez, according to a federal complaint against the pair, and agents recovered an unreported amount of the drug there. Agents found Rodriguez somewhere else, and he reportedly admitted owning the meth.
By the time of these arrests, court documents reveal that agents were listening in on Thompson's phone calls to McCarty through a wiretap.
On Jan. 5, a federal complaint against McCarty stated he referred to dealing meth and referenced $3,000 or $4,000 coming Thompson's way. In that same call, the feds say Thompson referred to unloading one pound of meth.
On Jan. 10, agents listening in said they heard Thompson tell McCarty that he needed 'to pay that [expletive] to shut him up," referring to his meth supplier.
At about 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 24, troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety pulled Thompson over as he was driving a black Ford F-350 and reportedly rolled through a stop sign at 42nd Street and Guernsey Road, according to the complaint against him. DPS troopers reported arresting him after they found Thompson with a handgun and a small amount of what troopers believed to be meth.
At the DPS office in Odessa, agents told Thompson they had a search warrant for his mobile home in West Odessa. The affidavit states he admitted that he distributed about five pounds of meth with a group of other people since October 2012.
Inside Thompson's home at 2900 N. Torrance Ave., agents reported finding 27 guns, a small amount of meth and steroids. The Odessa Police Department's SWAT team assisted with the search. Authorities with the DEA and Homeland security also assisted.
Agents reportedly heard Thompson identify McCarty as one of two men he trusted in his "crew." But a federal complaint against McCarty states Thompson pointed to him as one of two distributors who distributed five pounds of meth for him. Court documents show McCarty's arrest happened on Jan. 30.
Thompson was a member of the OPD from April 7, 2003, to July 15, 2007, when he voluntarily resigned as a patrol officer to work at an oilfield business, records show. After that, Thompson served as a reserve deputy with the Ector County Sheriff's Office, until he was arrested as a participant in a 2009 bar fight.
Thompson and the five other suspects were in federal custody Wednesday. Assistant United States Attorney Brandi Young is prosecuting the case against them.
Contact Corey Paul on Twitter @OAcrime on Facebook at OA Corey Paul or call 432-333-7768.
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