Meth pills disguised as Easter candy seized in drug bust, DEA says

Drug bust leads to seven East Side Bloods gang members arrested, officials say

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

Seven East Side Bloods gang members are off the streets after officials said a drug bust led to their arrest on drug-trafficking charges.

A 10-count federal grand injury indictment Thursday charged Deuandre Jermore Williams, 31; Justin Tremayne Woole, 28; Derek Deshon Williams, 42; Andre Jarrell Williams, 32; Marshall Lee Braddy, 38; and Darrial Gene Carter, 33.

Cynthia Corina Valdez, 26, remains a fugitive in the case, officials said.

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Since 2016, Deuandre Williams, a suspected Bloods gang member, led the group in getting cocaine -- in powder and crack form -- from Austin distributors and then selling it in San Antonio, officials said.

Officials said the drug operation was taking place at the Springhill Apartments, which is on the city's East Side in the 4800 block of Ray Bon Drive.

After arresting the gang members, authorities also seized nine firearms, about 20 kilograms of methamphetamine in pill form, large amounts of cocaine and marijuana and a "significant" amount of cash, officials said.

Dante Sorianello, assistant special agent in charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the seized meth pills were not only white-colored but also in "multi-pastel colors" depicted as Easter candy.

Sorianello said the disguise could have easily grabbed the attention of children, which could have led to them to consume it.

Courtesy: United States Attorney's Office

"We (also) seized 22 different pill dyes ... which individuals ... utilize to make counterfeit pills," Sorianello said.

Sorianello said they believe a lot of the pills were being sold at clubs to people who may believe taking a pill is much safer than "snorting a line or smoking methamphetamine."

"These gang members were not your traditional, just engaged in crack-cocaine trafficking. They were selling powder cocaine, methamphetamine and hydroponic marijuana. So, they were probably drug distributors," Sorianello said.

The indictment also charged three others who were already in custody. They were identified as Johnny Earl Hughes, 40; Freddie Lee Scott, 28; and Salvador Barrios Mesas, 38.

They all face five to 40 years in prison.

Six other suspected Bloods gang members were indicted Thursday by a state grand jury in Bexar County on charges including engaging in organized criminal activity, felon in possession, manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and evading with a vehicle.

They were identified as Henry Cochran, 31; Daveion Zacharie, 22; Anthony Sanks, 29; Trevon Campbell, 25; Leon Smith, 31; and Quonta Newes, 32.

Officials said the people charged in the case have previous violent convictions and are known to authorities.

Members of the Texas Anti-Gang force, or TAG, in San Antonio, are being credited with the drug bust.

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