Ongoing drug trafficking investigation in Central Texas results in 3 more arrests

Nearly three dozen alleged drug traffickers arrested since June 2022
Brian Patrick Butz, 54, of Stephenville, Texas; Zachary Alan Hinds, 31, of Stephenville; and...
Brian Patrick Butz, 54, of Stephenville, Texas; Zachary Alan Hinds, 31, of Stephenville; and Stephanie Elyse Tapia, 36, of Dallas(Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST
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HAMILTON, Texas (KWTX) - The ongoing investigation into a criminal and drug trafficking enterprise in Central Texas led to three additional arrests, according to Hamilton County Sheriff Justin Carraway.

Caraway on Dec. 8, 2022, announced the arrests of Brian Patrick Butz, 54, of Stephenville, Texas; Zachary Alan Hinds, 31, of Stephenville; and Stephanie Elyse Tapia, 36, of Dallas.

All three are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, first degree felonies.

If convicted, each defendant could face a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 99 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“The Criminal Enterprise as a whole was responsible for trafficking and distributing multi kilogram amounts heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and firearms between 2019 and 2022,” Caraway said.

Back in June 2022, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office announced “Operation Long Reach” led to the federal indictment of 22 individuals, most from Central Texas, in a methamphetamine trafficking scheme allegedly responsible for the distribution of more than 1,000 pounds of meth with a street dealer value in excess of $24 million.

In November 2022, authorities arrested four more individuals during the ongoing criminal investigation into the trafficking of methamphetamine in and around Hamilton County.

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