Ten people who were arrested in the raid in South Dallas on Thursday have been identified and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other drug crimes, officials said Friday.
Nearly two dozen arrests were made early Thursday morning after a raid at an apartment complex near Fair Park. Officials said they were connected to gang activity, drug sales and murders.
Initial appearances in federal court began Friday morning for the defendants.
New details shared by the U.S. Attorney's Office of North Texas Friday said that at the apartment complex, there were specific "trap rooms" for each type of drug to be sold, and there were rooms where customers could pay a fee to party at. Drugs were stored in vehicles that were parked at the complex, according to officials.
According to court documents unsealed Friday, several defendants allegedly used so-called “trap room” on Meyers Street in Park Row.
The law enforcement operation, called “Operation 50/50 Love,” involved more than 400 agents from the FBI; Dallas Police Department; the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire, said Prerak Shah, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
During the investigation, authorities seized 36 weapons, more than $58,000 cash, six vehicles and more than 18 kilograms of drugs. The drugs included suspected powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and PCP.
Federal authorities said the area where the raid happened is one of the most violent areas in the Metroplex, and Dallas police said the area makes up 10% of all violent crime across the city.
Authorities said they had seen an increase in violence there over the last two years, and many of the guns and ballistics that they had been tracing came from the area.
Parallel buildings with 'trap rooms'
The 10 arrested are allegedly gang members known to be involved in various criminal activities - from illegal weapons trafficking to aggravated assault - who operated out of an apartment complex made up of parallel two-story buildings, the announcement said.
Competing gangs dealt narcotics out of the “left” and “right” side of the apartments, but “were known to do so without retribution against the opposite side,” the announcement said.
“Each trap room sold a specific type of controlled substance, and was equipped with a counter where sellers cut, packaged, and distributed drugs,” the announcement said. “Occasionally, when they ran low, sellers would ‘re-up’ with controlled substances stored in vehicles parked on the property. For a small fee, dealers permitted customers to use drugs in a ‘party’ unit onsite."
If one side unexpectedly ran out of narcotics, the other side would loan them drugs to sell, the announcement said.
“At one point, the 'right side' permitted the 'left side' to operate out of the 'right side' due to a shooting at a trap house on the 'left side,'" the announcement said.
To secure drugs and maintain control, sellers on the “left side” possessed firearms, which they often kept in plain view near the drug counter.
Shah said they decided to move in now because they feared the violence would only get worse in the summer months. He said the operation achieved two goals: taking violent criminals off the street and sending a message to would-be-criminals that the Feds are watching.
"They know the difference between state time and federal time, and they do not want to get federal time," Shah explained at a news conference announcing the raid, Thursday.
Chief Eddie Garcia added that law enforcement is hopeful that what happened will also help reduce violent crime.
"The message today for the residents is simple: DPD is not alone in keeping community safe, DPD is not alone in weeding out the criminal element and DPD is not along in seeding the community with hope,” he said.
Despite the arrests made Thursday, authorities said they are still looking for dozens of other suspects, including others from across the state. If convicted, they face up to 20 years per count in prison.
Additional names will be made available as they are unsealed by the court, Shah said.
- Sataurus Joe Jackson, aka “Slicc,” charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance
- Ardairus DeQuall Vatin, aka “Decc,” charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine)
- Antuan Fulce, aka “Fatboy” or “Big Homie,” charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base
- Daymion Savannah-Womack, aka “Boulevard,” charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute marijuana
- Terry Lee Hicks, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base
- Exie Denise Alexander, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base
- Aretha Lashun Minter, aka “Shun,” charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance
- David Antwon Ricks, aka "Coogi," charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base
- Mark Antony White, charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine
Reporter Rebecca Lopez contributed to this report.