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Walker County Sheriff Clint McRae and Huntsville Police Chief Kevin Lunsford today announced that their departments, combined with the efforts of the Walker County District Attorney’s office, have concluded a two-and-a-half-year-long narcotic and organized crime investigation within Walker County and the Southern District of Texas. All defendants in this investigation have now been sentenced, with the majority being prosecuted federally and the remainder being prosecuted on state charges.
This investigation has resulted in the arrest of 29 high profile suspects, the majority of whom are Huntsville/Walker County residents. In addition to the arrests was the seizure of $1,800,000.00 in U. S. currency and 30 kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana, with an estimated street value within the million dollar range.
On Friday, October 2, 2015, Jeramy Jerome Gage was sentenced in United States District Court to 292 months for his participation in a narcotics distribution conspiracy. Gage was the last of fifteen defendants to be sentenced federally. Gage’s sentencing officially concluded a lengthy, multi-agency investigation which had been named Operation Piney Woods. Sentencing of the defendants ranged from 18 to 292 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All sentences included a period of time of community supervision to occur after the defendants’ release from prison.
These same suspects are responsible for distributing large amounts of narcotics and illegal firearms throughout this region of the state, much of which has taken place in the Walker County area. This investigation also involved several confirmed associates of even larger narcotic trafficking organizations, who are also responsible for this type of activity throughout other regions as well.
McRae and Lunsford issued a joint statement, saying, “The conclusion of this investigation and the prosecution of all defendants involved has and will continue to make a positive impact within this region of the state and Walker County from an enforcement standpoint, and have a negative impact on the narcotic industry, which is certainly the agencies’ shared goal and objective.”
“We are happy to have this lengthy investigation come to such a successful end, and we thank those who worked the investigation. They sacrificed time with their families on evenings, days off, and holidays to ensure those convicted would not sell drugs in Huntsville and Walker County for a long time,” McRae and Lunsford stated.
“We continue to work with the cooperating agencies from this investigation to provide a safer environment for our community. We also like to thank our community for their overwhelming support.”
Sheriff Clint McRae and Huntsville Police Chief Kevin Lunsford thanked the following agencies and entities for their valued assistance in this long term investigation. Without it and the devoted manpower from them, they said, the operation would not have been possible.
- Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office- Harris County Sheriff’s Office- DPS Criminal Investigations- Houston Police Department- Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)- Office of the Inspector General- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)- United States Marshall’s Service- Madison County District Attorney’s Office- U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
For more information, contact the Sheriff’s office at (936) 435-2400 or HPD at (936) 291-5480.