Authorities have taken nine people into custody on charges involving the distribution of meth, cocaine and/or oxycodone and hydrocodone, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.
Jermaine West, 42, aka Breadman is charged with Jonathan Rawlins, 44, and Bobby Pharms, 34, all from Houston, Texas, in the meth and cocaine conspiracy. The indictment also alleges West was involved in the illegal distribution of prescription opioids along with Tersha French, 46, Ronald Lucas, 40, and Antonia Vega, 32, all from Houston; Cynthia Ngwaba, 46, Richmond, Texas; Leon Covin, 47, Katy, Texas; and Toni Maria Nalintya, 48, Pearland, Texas.
The indictment was unsealed in its entirety today as authorities took Rawlins into custody. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Sheldon at 10 a.m. CDT tomorrow. The others made their appearances earlier this week.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment under seal Aug. 13. According to the charges, West allegedly engaged in conspiracy during 2018 to 2019 to distribute meth and cocaine near schools and other locations in the Houston area with Rawlins and Pharms. West allegedly conducted some of the illegal activity on multiple occasions within 1000 feet of Worthing High School in the 3rd Ward of Houston.
The indictment alleges the conspiracy also involved the distribution of prescription opioids. West allegedly obtained the drugs from French, Lucas, Vega, Ngwaba, Covin and Nalintya via the Ennis Street Pharmacy and Barker Cypress Pharmacy in Houston.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The FBI conducted the investigation through the Houston Anti-Gang Center with the assistance of the Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Drug Enforcement Administration. Trial Attorney Devon Helfmeyer with the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Corley are prosecuting the case.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.