Federal agents arrest more than a dozen local residents named in drug trafficking and firearms indictments

FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee confirmed there was “an ongoing law enforcement operation”...
FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee confirmed there was “an ongoing law enforcement operation” underway, but provided no further details.(Eric Franklin)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 10:50 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - Federal agents swept through Central Texas on Thursday and Friday and arrested 15 area residents named in sealed drug trafficking and firearms indictments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release Friday.

Agents swarmed a house at around 7 a.m. Thursday on FM 2271 just north of the Miller Springs Nature Center on the edge of Lake Belton in Temple, as part of the enforcement action.

The east lane of FM 2271 was closed for several hours, and authorities funneled traffic into the west lane of FM 2271 on both sides of the Lake Belton Dam.

Fifteen local residents --Jose Francisco Gutierrez, 33 of Killeen; Sarah Elizabeth Crigger, 30 of Nolanville; Bobby Quinton Gentile, 43 of Holland; Ashley Nicole Sutton, 31 of Belton; Wesley Warrick, 50 of Cameron; Carlos Avila, 38 of Buckholts; Joe David Beck, 50 of Temple; Lesleigh Arianne Bittner, 33 of Belton; Aleah Freitag, 29 of Rockdale; Kimberly Lee, 26 of Gatesville; Colton Lane Lewis, 30 of Temple; Angela Loy, 32 of Temple; Frank Medina, Jr, 43 of Temple; Timothy Neal Nyquist, 36 of Temple; and Trisha Ann Sanchez, 40 of Temple--are named in indictments alleging they conspired since January 2020 to distribute “multiple kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in Bell County and surrounding areas.”

The indictments also named Anthony Gutierrez, aka Cuzzo, 34 of San Juan in Hidalgo County.

Jose Gutierrez, Crigger and Lewis were already in custody.

The others were arrested over the past two days.

During the investigation that led to the indictments, authorities seized about four kilograms of cocaine, seven kilograms of methamphetamine, and a half dozen firearms.

Anthony Gutierrez, Jose Gutierrez, Crigger, Gentile, Sutton and Warrick would each face 10 years to life in federal prison if convicted because the quantity level charged is at least 500 grams, authorities said.

The others face between five years and 40 years in federal prison if convicted because the quantity level charged is at least 50 grams.

Cory Joe Barton, 35, of Gatesville was named in a separate indictment charging conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine that alleges he possessed at least 500 grams of meth on Nov. 11, 2020.

Barton, who was arrested earlier, faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

Lori Oliphint, 43, of Temple was named in an indictment charging possession with intent to distribute less than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Oliphint, who was arrested Thursday, faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted.

Kayli Marie Guthrie of Temple, 21, is named in an indictment charging possession of a firearm by a convicted felon that alleges she was in possession of a .45 caliber Colt handgun on May 21, 2020 after she was convicted on March 27, 2020 in Bell County of possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Guthrie, was arrested Thursday night.

Annie Rose Lewis of Temple, 31, was also named in an indictment charging one count of convicted felon in possession of a firearm that alleges she possessed a .380 caliber pistol on Dec. 21, 2020 after she was convicted in 2011 in federal court of manufacturing counterfeit currency.

She was arrested Friday.

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