The Copperas Cove Police Department and the Bell County Organized Crime Unit recently made 15 arrests during a six-month drug sting. A Coryell County court already sentenced four defendants.
The two organizations started investigating drug-related crimes, focusing on methamphetamine, about six months ago, stated a Wednesday Cove police news release. During the time of the investigation, 36 sealed indictments were issued.
They included charges such as delivery of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram, and delivery of a controlled substance, 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams in a drug free zone.
The 36 cases were presented directly to a grand jury in April, said Dusty Boyd, the Coryell County district attorney.
Since then, 15 of 22 people charged during the sting were arrested.
Boyd said sealing indictments instead of processing the charge through arraignments allowed officers to gather more evidence about the crimes being committed, which helped the cases move faster.
“By the time they hit my office, we are not going to have to conduct any further investigation,” Boyd said. “They are court ready by the time they get here.”
The 52nd District Court sentenced four of the 15 people as the result of plea agreements, Boyd said.
Johnnie Hentzman, 24, received six months in the Texas Department Criminal Justice on a charge delivery of a controlled substance.
Betty Kidd, 41, received five years of probation on a charge for delivery of a controlled substance.
Kelly Rosster-Stroud, 29, received six months in state prison for delivery of a controlled substance.
Norman Scofield, 54, received eight years in state prison for possession of a controlled substance with attempted delivery.
Scofield had additional unrelated charges, Boyd said.
“Lately, we have been really cracking down on (drugs),” said Martin Ruiz, a Cove police spokesman, about the sting.
Working with the Bell County Crime Organized Crime Unit allowed the department to further focus on apprehending people responsible for such crimes, he said.
There will be more arrests from the operation, Ruiz said.
Some of the cases are related to particular incidents, but not all of them, Boyd said.