Man tied to fatal drive-by shooting arrested on federal drug charge

Charles Lee Bethany, 36, possible target of another drive-by shooting, feds say

SAN ANTONIO – A 36-year-old man, who federal authorities said is an East Side drug dealer and believed to be involved in a drive-by shooting that killed a 4-year-old boy, was arrested Wednesday on a federal drug charge.

Charles Lee Bethany is charged with possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine, a U.S. Attorney's Office news release said.

Related: 4-year-old boy killed, mother wounded in drive-by shooting

A criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court Thursday said that Bethany may have been the intended target of a drive-by shooting the afternoon of July 19 at a store in the 400 block of Spriggsdale that injured two people. Bethany was reported to have been seen in the parking lot of the store, possibly returning gunfire from a pickup, the affidavit said.

Several hours later, a drive-by shooting in the 200 block of Hub Street claimed the life of De-Earlvion Whitley, 4, and wounded his mother. Authorities said that shooting was in retaliation to the earlier drive-by on Spriggsdale.

According to the affidavit, about 12 minutes prior to the Hub Street shooting, surveillance video showed a group of men leaving in two cars from 627 J. Street, which authorities said is a stash house that Bethany runs. One man was seen armed with a pistol, and another man was seen armed with a rifle.

Related: Neighborhood worried about violence in wake of fatal drive-by shooting

Police found at least 40 rifle and handgun rounds on the street in front of the Hub Street home, the affidavit said. The men were seen returning to the J Street home moments after the shooting. Due to poor lighting conditions, agents were not able to identify the men.

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