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Drug Suspects Have Detention Hearing in Federal Court

More than half of the 30 people arrested last week as a result of an FBI drug investigation in Wichita Falls appeared in the U.S. District Court today.
    Eighteen of 30 people arrested in a multi-agency drug investigation allegedly operating out of a Wichita Falls motel appeared at the federal courthouse in Wichita Falls for a detention hearing today.
    Each defendant is charged for alleged involvement in a cocaine ring.
    And today, all of the defendants who went before the judge entered a not guilty plea.
    Assistant US Attorney Brandon McCarthy presented some of the evidence against each defendant.
    He called Sergeant Charlie Eipper with the WFPD Gang Task Force to the stand as his only witness.
    McCarthy says most of the charges in this investigation stem from the Kemp Edition Posse, pr K.E.P., a street gang.
    Sergeant Eipper says in all, the gang has been involved in more than 50 federal crimes and dozens and dozens of state crimes.
    He says agencies have seized more than 900 grams of crack cocaine, more than 1500 grams of powder cocaine, and at least two dozen guns from gang members.
    McCarthy says WFPD called on the FBI to help them take down suspects in illegal activity they believe was associated with the K.E.P.
    Most of the 18 defendants who appeared in court today remain behind bars at the Wichita County Jail.
    Bond was set at $25-thousand for three defendants: Lloyd Kelly Murray, Peggy Fleeks, and Terrance Fleeks.
    Wichita County Jail records show Peggy Fleeks and Terrance Fleeks bonded out of jail this afternoon.
    Bond for Parvin Patel is $100-thousand.
    Investigators say Patel is the owner of the Budget Inn Motel on East Scott and knowingly let the defendants deal drugs out of the motel.
    Police statistics show more than 100 arrests and more than 40 search warrants executed at the motel in the past few years.
    Sergeant Eipper says police repeatedly told Patel not to let certain individuals on his property because they were linked to a drug operation, yet he continued to do so.
    The motel is up for seizure by authorities.
      If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of 10-years to life in prison, and up to a $10-million fine.
    The remaining 12 defendants go before the judge Thursday morning at 9.
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