Locals arrested on federal drug charges

October 21, 2021

By James Stewart

It was a follow-up to the drug dealing round-up that happened in Brady last April, only this time, the charges were federal warrants. In all, the task force was after 14 individuals, seven of whom were in McCulloch County.

The task force sent officers to serve warrants on three individuals who were in Brady early Tuesday. Only two of the three were arrested and they were added to the four already in jail stemming from the first round of arrests.

Dante Sorianello, the District Chief and Assistant Special Agent in charge with the San Antonio District of the Drug Enforcement Administration was on hand as a federal representative providing oversight on the operation. According to Sorianello, the entire roundup was a cooperative effort between local law enforcement, the San Angelo Criminal Investigative Division and the DEA district that includes McCulloch County.

"I was here mainly to support local law enforcement and their efforts and show them that from the federal level, they have our support," said Sorianello.

The first round of arrests was made in late April when a list of 27 indictments were handed down and arrests were made in a massive drug distribution ring. During that first round-up, 22 of the 27 names on the indictment list were arrested.

Four of the individuals arrested during that first round-up were included in the second round-up, but this time, the charges stem from federal indictments and are completely separate from the charges that previously existed. In all, six individuals were taken into federal custody at the McCulloch County Jail. They were transported to Tom Green County Jail and they will remain there pending processing of the charges.

"These charges are all from federal indictments and will be tried separately in federal court based out of Abilene," said McCulloch County Sheriff Matt Andrews. "The district attorney will also have the option to try the accused on the state charges in addition to these charges that came from the federal level."

According to Sheriff Andrews, the significance of these charges is that they carry stiffer penalties and if convicted and sentenced to prison, they will be housed at a federal detention center and will not be eligible for parole. Charges against the group carry a punishment ranging from 10 years to life in prison.

The other seven individuals rounded up by the task force were reportedly either in Eden or San Angelo. Their names and photographs along with details of the charges for each individual will be made public as they are provided. This is a developing story.