29 Arrested, Authorities Looking for More in Odessa Meth Distribution Ring

29 Arrested, Authorities Looking for More in Odessa Meth Distribution Ring

By Geena Martinez

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - More than two dozen people were busted in Odessa on Thursday. Investigators said it was all part of a meth ring spanned across several states.

Agents are trying to track down several more people involved.

A six-month long investigation by the Ector County Sheriff's Office, DEA, FBI and other agencies revealed a methamphetamine ring out of Odessa.

"Agents were able to identify 32 people in the Odessa area who were involved in this distribution ring," DEA agent, Will Glaspy, said.

The ringleader has been identified as 41-year-old Shawn Allen Niece but no mug shots have been released.

The ring spanned across the country including Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego.

"One of their methods they were using was Fed-Ex and UPS and other transportation and shipping companies," Glaspy said.

Investigators seized over eleven pounds of meth, $62,000 in cash along with vehicles and firearms during the raids.

Agents estimate the ring distributed about three times more the amount of drugs that were seized.

"During one of the arrests, one of the defendants was found to have four pounds just himself," Glaspy said.

A total of 29 people involved have been arrested, eight were already in jail on other charges and authorities are still looking for nine more.

"What we've seen here today is what's going on here in this county and in this area," Ector County Sheriff, Mark Donaldson, said.

Donaldson said the boom has unfortunately brought more drugs in the area.

"People know there's money here, that people are making money so they want those people to spend their money on their drugs," he said.

Officials said they believe the arrests will have a big impact in reducing drugs in the Basin.

"They're not gonna be able to bond out, they're not gonna be back out there on the street distributing this stuff," Donaldson said.

"We'll not only send a message but at least disrupt and dismantle a narcotics distribution ring," Bill Lewis, Asst. U.S. Attorney in Midland, said.

If convicted, the people arrested could face sentences ranging from five years to life in prison.