Rusk County men plead guilty in federal cold pills case
TYLER, Texas – Two Rusk County, Texas men have pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Larry Don Howell, 29, of Kilgore, Texas, and Russell Eugene Shepherd, 28, of Overton, Texas, have pleaded guilty to possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith K. Guthrie.
According to information presented in court, on Apr. 17, 2009, Howell purchased cold pills containing pseudoephedrine at a Wal-Mart in Kilgore, in addition to making several other purchases up until Nov. 3, 2009. On Mar. 10, 2009, Shepherd purchase cold pills containing pseudoephedrine at a Wal-Mart in Henderson, Texas, in addition to making several other purchases up until Jan. 25, 2010. The purchases were all made in furtherance of their methamphetamine manufacturing activities.
A federal grand jury returned a 273-count indictment on May 6, 2010 charging Howell and Shepherd with federal drug violations. Howell pleaded guilty on Sep. 1, 2010, and Shepherd pleaded guilty on Sep. 2, 2010. They each face up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. Sentencing dates have not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Texas DPS Criminal Investigations Division, the Panola County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Gregg County CODE Unit, the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, the Upshur County Sheriff's Office, the Gilmer Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff's Office, the Jefferson Police Department, the Henderson Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Harrison County Sheriff's Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Hurst.