18 Houston-area residents accused of stealing $1.5m in narcotics from Arkansas

Following an indictment returned in the Eastern District of Arkansas, eighteen people from Texas were detained in Houston on November 28, 2023, for stealing more than $1.5 million in drugs from several pharmacies in Arkansas.

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Schedule II through V restricted narcotics, as well as pharmacy burglary, conspiracy to commit pharmacy burglary, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, are among the counts included in the indictment.

Keith Brown, 34, of Houston, and 17 others were charged in connection with “Operation #Richoffmeds.”

18 Houston-area residents accused of stealing $1.5m in narcotics from Arkansas

The Drug Enforcement Administration Little Rock District Office (DEA LRDO) identified more than 20 pharmacy burglaries and pharmaceutical narcotics thefts in Arkansas between February 2022 and November 2023.

The suspects used comparable means of entry and tools, as well as matching attire and unique footwear, in each of the crimes. The stolen medications, which included oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup, were transferred to Houston, Texas, and illegally sold.

The drug trafficking group was identified as being documented local gang members from the 5th Ward neighborhood, according to intelligence developed by the DEA LRDO and the Houston Police Department Northeast Division Crime Suppression Team.

The current case is similar in nature and scope to a previous case indicted in the Eastern District of Arkansas in 2016, in which 24 members of a local Houston 5th Ward gang known as ‘The Trill Fam’ were charged with multi-state pharmacy burglaries and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to the release.

18 Houston-area residents accused of stealing $1.5m in narcotics from Arkansas

Over 96,000 Schedule II restricted drug tablets were stolen during the current investigation. All controlled narcotics stolen by the group in the Arkansas burglaries have a street value of close to $1.6 million. Investigators also recovered six weapons, approximately $79,000 in US money, and $330,000 in designer jewelry.

The defendants arrested include Brown, Antoine Hampton, 37, Donald Spencer, 34, Marcus Hargrove, 31, Reginald Jackson, 32, Vernon Baloney, Jr., 33, Edwin Burks, 50, Nicklaus Franklin, 31, Louis Johnson, III, 24, Nathan Kibble, 40, Joshua Delaney, 43, Fernando Riascos, Jr., 36, Alexis Garner, 31, Daron Livingston, 32, Jaiden Fowler, 23, Joshua Griffin, 21, Cierra Jackson, 30, and Jasmane Lincoln, 34, all from the greater Houston, Texas area.

The maximum term for drug offenses is 20 years in federal prison.

An indictment solely contains allegations. Unless and until proven guilty, defendants are deemed innocent.

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