Officials arrest 6 in ETX drug conspiracy

Officials arrest 6 in ETX drug conspiracy
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 4:01pm

Six Shelby County, Texans residents have been arrested in connection with a drug trafficking conspiracy in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

A 13-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on April 17, 2013 charging the following individuals with federal gun and drug crimes:

  • Lakeva Shillette Hill, 35
  • Lester Earl Pitts, 48
  • Vincent Jermaine Lathan, 36
  • Cornelius Vansharles Gray, 36
  • Anthony Gene Chumbley, 46
  • Andrae Demarkqudell Pegues, 33.

The indictment alleges that beginning in May 2010, Hill, Pitts, Lathan and Gray were involved in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana and crack cocaine in East Texas. Hill, Pitts and Gray are also charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Pitts is charged with three counts of providing a firearm to a drug trafficker and three counts of providing a firearm to a convicted felon. Hill and Chumbley are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pegues is charged with providing a false statement to a federal agent.

The defendants were arrested on April 18, 2013 and made initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin on April 22, 2013.

If convicted of the drug conspiracy charge, the defendants each face up to life in federal prison. The firearms conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The firearms possession charges carry a penalty of a minimum of five years in prison. For providing a firearm to a drug dealer or a convicted felon, the defendant faces up to 10 years for each charge. For being a felon in possession of a firearm, the defendants each face a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. The false statement charge has a penalty of up to 5 years in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Center Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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