Runnels County Sheriff Office investigation nets almost a dozen drug-related arrests

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
Runnels County Sheriff Carl Squyres and his department conducted a 3-month investigation that lead to almost a dozen sealed indictments and charges on December 8. Squyres says that the department still has more arrest warrants to serve.

On December 8th, the Runnels County Sheriff's Office announced that a 3-month investigation resulted in almost a dozen drug-related arrests and charges, with more arrest warrants yet to be served. The warrants were issued under sealed indictments and most were executed on the same day. Runnels County Sheriff Carl Squyres says that they still have more arrests to make.

One arrest led to the investigation

Squyres said that the investigation started with a single arrest. Information garnered during that arrest led investigators to the narcotics investigation that ultimately resulted in over a dozen charges being filed. Many of the details have not been released due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The arrests affect more than the drug trafficking and manufacturing in Runnels County, "The arrests affect our contiguous counties. Most arrests were here in Ballinger. We still have a few others from surrounding counties outstanding," Squyres said.

Law Enforcement relied on teamwork

Executing the arrests warrants without the suspects suspecting that they were under investigation required cooperation from other law enforcement agencies in the county, "The investigation was all done by the S.O. (sheriff's office), however the help from Winters PD, Ballinger PD and Pct.1 Constable counted for a lot when it came to making the arrests quickly to prevent some of the defendants from leaving town. It takes a lot of cooperation and organization between agencies."

A 3-month investigation by the Runnels County Sheriff Office resulted in almost a dozen arrests issued under sealed indictment, with more arrest warrants yet to be served.

Putting a dent in drug trafficking in the county

Squyres said that the arrests will help put a dent in the drug trafficking in the county, but he beilevs that there is a larger issue contributing to the drug problems in this area, "Unfortunately, with the border situation in the condition it is in, there is so much illegal narcotics flowing across the county that it has had a huge impact on the drug activity in Runnels County. This will definitely slow the trade down here for a bit, but I'm afraid not for long."

The arrests didn't lead to any narcotics manufacturing locations, such as meth labs, "Again, with the border situation as it is, illegal narcotics are easier to get from cartel sources. So we found no actual 'cook' sites. That is actually a rarity these days."

Sending a message

Although the arrests didn't lead to any asset or money seizures, nor lead to any narcotics manufacturing locations, Squyres said that it will nonetheless send a message to the drug traffickers in, and coming through Runnels County, "As stated before, this will slow the trade down for a time, but not near long enough."

The unsung heroes

Squyres thanked those people who aren't always at the forefront of the public's minds when operations like this come out almost seamlessly, "Well, as usual the forgotten members in Law Enforcement, our County Correctional Officers, and dispatchers deserve a big pat on the back for all their hard work in keeping the citizens and officers safe. The Dispatchers answer that call when situations are bad and try to get help to the caller as soon as possible and many times have to try to comfort a victim of a crime or accident before help arrives. They also worry each time they have to send an officer into a dangerous situation. The County Corrections Officers, who keep the citizens safe from the criminal element by keeping those individuals incarcerated. They are many times verbally abused, threatened, and at times physically assaulted by these inmates. They all deserve a huge "thank you.'"

Arrests, charges & bail

According to the sheriff's office, those arrested and their charges are:

Gabriel Alfaro Jr – Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $20,000.00

Freddy Brown - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Shoni Ferguson - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Mary Jones - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG3/4 <28g Bond set at $20,000.00

Tia Nicole Lopez - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Tia Nicole Lopez - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<=200g<400g Bond set at $10,000.00

Michael Luna - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Fidencia Q. Martinez - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Daniel Sanchez - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Daniel Sanchez - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Michael Liggins - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Michael Liggins - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Shila Ann Drake - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Sergio Rangel - Man./Del. Controlled substance PG1<1g Bond set at $10,000.00

Several individuals still have outstanding warrants from this investigation and will be arrested when located.