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Seven charged in investigation of Central Texas meth ring

Six of the seven arrested Tuesday
Seven area residents have been charged in a state and federal investigation of meth distribution in three Central Texas counties. (File)
Seven area residents have been charged in a state and federal investigation of meth distribution in three Central Texas counties. (File)(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Seven area residents have been charged in a state and federal investigation of a methamphetamine distribution operation in McLennan, Bell and Coryell Counties.

On Tuesday authorities arrested Rodney Macpherson (aka “Todd”), 51 of Temple'; Anna Ruetz (aka “Dani”), 30 of Waco; Blake Deeann Blanchard, 30 of Gatesville; Shae Lynn Rice, 55 of McGregor; Lamarcus Lamond Minter, 41 of Moody; and, Roberto Gonzalez, 34 of McGregor.

Ulysses Lopez, 46 of McGregor, was already in state custody when the warrants were served Tuesday.

The seven are named in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday charging conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The arrests Tuesday came after 15 other resident were arrested earlier this year in the same investigation including Gabriel Flores-Benitez, 25, of McGregor who, authorities allege, headed an organization that has distributed large amounts of methamphetamine in Central Texas since May 2019.

Investigators have seized nearly two kilograms (nearly 4 ½ pounds) of methamphetamine and three firearms.

“This investigation is an excellent example of how area law enforcement agencies work together to make this community safer,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple said.

If convicted, McPherson could be sentenced to as much as life in prison.

The other seven, if convicted, would face from five to 40 years in prison.

Detention hearings are expected next week before a U.S. magistrate in Waco.

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