By Holly Wise

Killeen Daily Herald

CORYELL COUNTY - A 10-month long investigation into a methamphetamine trafficking organization stretching from Gatesville to McGregor and Waco ended with the arrest of eight members of the organization who pleaded guilty to the charges against them, the Coryell County Sheriff's Office reported Wednesday afternoon.

The investigation began in April 2009 by the narcotics and criminal investigations division of the sheriff's office and later included agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Drug Enforcement Administration out of Waco.

The sheriff's office reported that the amount of methamphetamine being distributed in the Coryell County area was "extremely large" and the distribution reached beyond the county limits.

For 10 months investigators with the sheriff's office, the Gatesville Police Department, DPS and DEA conducted a series of undercover operations purchasing various amount of methamphetamine ranging from grams to ounces from several local and non-local drug dealers.

Between February and September 2010, all eight members of the organization were arrested and have since been indicted on various charges by a federal grand jury. Some individuals have been sentenced, while others are awaiting sentencing dates in federal court.

The following individuals were indicted and charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine:

Tina Louise Wicker, 44, of Gatesville; Cary Eugene Buth, 48, of Gatesville; Lee Ann Parker, 32, of Gatesville; Tommy Lee Owens, 34, of Gatesville; Barry Brent Swarb, 55, of Gatesville; Virginia Frye Miller, 53, of Gatesville; Waylon Lewis Dyer, 41, of Gatesville and Frank Nicholas Butler Jr., 42, of Waco.

Wicker was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

Buth was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Owens was sentenced to 19½ years in federal prison followed by five years supervised release. Butler, Swarb and Parker await sentencing.

Miller and Dyer also face charges of methamphetamine distribution, aiding and abetting and distribution of methamphetamine on a premises at which minor was present or resided. They await sentencing.

Contact Holly Wise at or (254) 501-7474.

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