‘Biggest bust’: More than $500K in meth off Central Texas streets

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara is praising the work of his deputies and fellow law enforcement officers after an operation - hailed as the “biggest meth bust” in the history of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office - led to three arrests and the seizure of more than $500,000 in methamphetamine.

“It’s the largest, that I’m aware of, methamphetamine bust,” McNamara said during a press conference Monday. “I don’t remember this amount of meth being taken before, it’s a huge amount.”

Law enforcement officers arrested Abel Chavez, Allen Roberts, and Marvin Keith on drug charges after the months-long operation resulted in the seizure of about 38.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 26 ounces of marijuana, nearly $18,000 in suspected drug proceeds, a Glock pistol, and an AR-15 style weapon, the sheriff said.

“We knew there was a possibility there would be quite a bit of dope there, but that is a huge quantity of methamphetamine,” said McNamara. “So glad to get that off the street.”

The operation was conducted by members of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Organized Crime Unit, the sheriff’s office’s SWAT, and the Waco Police Department’s Drug Enforcement Unit, along with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. The bust was made Wednesday, June 8, at a home on Park Avenue in South Waco.

“The Waco Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Unit has been around for a few years here in McLennan County, and since their existence they’ve been constantly working to remove drugs out of the area and remove gang members, and make the city and the county a little bit safer, so this just part of the operation they did,” said Sgt. Ryan Howard, spokesman for DPS. “The agencies within the TAG came together and worked together and were able to find these drugs and get them off the street so McLennan County did great here also working in conjunction with the TAG, and so we’re just thankful for the work that they did to remove these drugs from getting in children’s hands, or anybody else’s hands.”

Sheriff McNamara said the estimated street value of the methamphetamine seized is in excess of $530,000. “Almost all of our crime is connected to drug trafficking,” the Sheriff said during the news conference. “I’m just proud of our officers and the work they put together with other agencies ... We want to make it as difficult as we can for them to get their dope.”

McNamara said it was a team effort, and had a message for the citizens of McLennan County.

“Our officers for the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, Waco PD, DPS and other agencies are out there working around the clock overtime to protect them and get these kinds of drugs off the streets, out of the hands of the bad guys, and lock up the perpetrators,” said McNamara.

Chavez is charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance (penalty group 1) over 400 grams, a first-degree felony. Chavez’s bond was set at $50,000 and and he bonded out on June 9, 2022.

Roberts and Keith are both accused of distributing drugs in the Bellmead area. Both were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony. The men are currently being held on $250,000 bonds each.

“Hopefully, these idiots are going to get some tall sentences,” McNamara said.

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