UDSA – DOJ: Texas Prisoner Indicted on Federal Drug Trafficking Crimes Related to Prison Yard Drone Drops

SHERMAN, Texas – A Texas prison inmate man has been arrested and charged with federal violations related to a drone drop scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Yeshmel James Wright, 35, of Dallas, is named in the 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas on Feb. 9, 2022.  The indictment alleges the individuals conspired to use drones and mail to smuggle drugs and contraband such as cellular phones in to prisons in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  In all, 42 individuals have been indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, and synthetic marijuana; money laundering; firearms violations; operating an aircraft to further drug trafficking; and Hobbs Act robbery.  The seizure has resulted in the seizure of multiple kilograms of methamphetamine, heroin, “M30” fentanyl pills, and synthetic marijuana.  Additionally, approximately $150,000 in cash, jewelry and vehicles have been seized.

Wright is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana.  He appeared in federal court this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak.

If convicted, Wright faces up to life in federal prison.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General; U.S. Marshals Service; IRS-Criminal Investigations; Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Lewisville Police Department; Little Elm Police Department; and Dallas Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Rattan.

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