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HOUSTON -- A Houston native with no past criminal record is accused of taking part in a cocaine distribution network based in El Paso.

Federal authorities made their way into a home they say was part of a large cocaine ring based in El Paso DEA and FBI agents searched several places and arrested 16 suspects.

Some of the charges are for operating stash houses, said DEA agent Diana Apodaca. There were some firearms charges and obviously possession with intent to distribute.

The alleged ring leader is Gabriel Fierro. According to his criminal record, he served 10 years in prison for murder.

One of Fierro s alleged accomplices is Caleb McCreless. He grew up in the Houston area and attended First Baptist High School. McCreless played football in high school and college, and later joined the Army.

He was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso for one year, but never deployed. The Army administratively discharged him in 2011.

According to the indictment, for the past three years, including his time at Fort Bliss, McCreless was part of the cocaine ring.

McCreless did not have a record before, but, if convicted of conspiracy, which is the most serious charge, the former soldier faces a prison sentence ranging from 10 years to life.

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