Authorities upend Burnet County drug operation with warrant sweep

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

BURNET COUNTY — At least 12 suspects will face charges in connection with a methamphetamine network following a warrant sweep coordinated by the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office and several regional agencies.

On Jan. 26, law enforcement conducted a series of coordinated, simultaneous arrests primarily across the unincorporated areas of Burnet and Llano counties.

“These are a lot of so-called ‘heavy hitters’ for the area,” Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd said. “This will have quite an impact on the methamphetamines supply network around (the area) as long as these people are in jail.”

The following suspects were arrested in the sweep:

  • Clint D’Spain, 44; bond set at $35,000
  • Jackson West, 19; no bond set at this time
  • Drew Franklin, 18; no bond set
  • Jessie Mungia, 22; bond set at $50,00 on two charges
  • Jesse James, 19; bond set at $30,000
  • Matthew Moss, 21; no bond set
  • Krissy Love Swearingen, 38; no bond set
  • Barbara Lee Haley, 35; bond set at $100,000 on two charges
  • Thelma Leifester, 48; bond set at $90,000 on three charges
  • Jerry “Jay” Guidry, 40; bond set at $120,000 on four charges
  • Shawn Hewell, 28; no bond set at this time
  • Chester Mitchell, 28; no bond set at this time

All listed suspects were charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (1-4 grams), a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine with a conviction.

Boyd said the sweep involved a culmination of investigative work over several months.

“This investigation began under Sheriff (W.T.) Smith’s administration, but I was briefed on the operations and kept up to speed on the progress,” he said.

More charges and additional suspects are expected.

“All of the defendants have prior criminal records. Some are on probation, parole, and some are currently in jail on other charges,” Boyd said. “We are familiar with these individuals. All have prior criminal records in our area.”

The number of people who “cook” or make the drug has declined over the past years, but a pipeline for the drug fed by area dealers has opened up and even grown, Boyd explained.

“(Methamphetamine) started off as a drug that was easy to get. They could make it out of their own homes,” Boyd said. “Now, most of the drugs are coming out of Mexico. It’s just as cheap and better quality.”

Also during the raid, investigators seized a stolen motorcycle and $3,100 in cash.

The BCSO Special Operations Unit conducted the sweep with the assistance of the Burnet Police Department, the Marble Falls Police Department, the Horseshoe Bay Police Department, the Llano County Sheriff’s Office, and the Heart of Texas Auto Theft Task Force.

“The drug problem is a continuing problem. We have an addiction problem also,” Boyd said. “People are really concerned about the drugs (in the community), so we’re going to do our job as law enforcement to fight that.”

connie@thepicayune.com

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