the republic logo

6 arrested in Alabama, including 2 inmates and prison guard, in methamphetamine investigation

Share/Save/Bookmark

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Six people, including an Alabama state prison guard and two inmates, were charged Thursday in a federal investigation of a drug trafficking operation that stretched from California to Alabama.

Federal officials announced the arrests in Montgomery and said more are expected. The Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge of Alabama, Clay Morris, described it as "a nationwide drug trafficking organization that had its base here in Alabama."

He said the organization was getting supplies from California and Texas and is suspected of distributing 90 pounds of methamphetamine in Alabama.

Morris said the DEA began investigating methamphetamine supplies coming into Alabama in early 2012, and the investigation focused on Miguel Calles-Gutierrez, 42, of Birmingham.

He said that with the help of the Alabama Department of Corrections, the investigation expanded to include Calles-Gutierrez's son, Gumaro Calles, 24, who is serving a 30-year sentence for first-degree assault and two counts of vehicular homicide from Jefferson County. He is at Staton Correctional Facility, a state prison in Elmore.

The investigation also expanded to include Alberto Trejo, who is an inmate at another Alabama prison, Bullock County Correctional Facility in Union Springs. Trejo, 31, is serving life sentence for a murder conviction in Jefferson County.

The DEA agent said the two are suspected of using contraband cellphones to run the drug operation from prison.

Trejo was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, while Calles-Gutierrez and his son were charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

Morris said Trejo is suspected of recruiting a correctional officer at Kilby State Prison in Montgomery, Phillip Burgin, to transport methfor the organization.

Burgin, 23, of Montgomery, was stopped in late April by Oklahoma state police with 30 pounds of the drug in his vehicle, and he is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Morris said.

Also charged with conspiracy to distribute were Stephanie Auban, 41, of Cullman, and William Thomas Crane, 36, of Crossville, who Morris said were connected to the 30 pounds of meth confiscated in Oklahoma.

The charges were based on indictments returned by federal grand juries in Montgomery and Birmingham.

Court records only listed an attorney for Trejo on Thursday, and he could not be reached immediately for comment. All six defendants are being held in jail.

During the roundup of the suspects early Thursday, Morris said officers seized another 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine and $50,000 to $60,000 in cash and the three firearms. That's in addition to $230,000 seized earlier in the investigation.

"Clearly the organization was substantial. It was national in scope," Morris said.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas drew praise from the DEA agent and U.S. Attorney George Beck for his help. "We are not going to stand back and allow illegal activity to occur in our correctional facilities," Thomas said.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.