Michael Layne Smith, 40, Kilgore, was sentenced to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute at least 500 grams but less than 1.5 kilograms of meth. Smith was indicted along with Jesse Joseph Montoya, 26, Raul Berumen Briseno, 29, both of Longview, and Santiago Montiel Aguirre, 30. Smith bought multiple ounces of meth from defendants in Longview.
Briseno has pleaded guilty, admitting that on June 1, he received a telephone call from Smith and discussed meeting him to sell him one pound of meth. Briseno and Aguirre met Smith in Gregg County to distribute the drugs, but were arrested. Law enforcement searched Briseno's vehicle and found two cereal boxes, each containing 1 pound of meth. In U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis's court, U.S. Public Defender Ken Hawk said Smith had a "stunning" history of drug use and needed drug treatment in prison. Smith apologized to the judge, to his family and to society.
"I don't want to define what kind of person I am by what I've done because that's not the case," he said. Smith agreed to forfeit a shotgun to the government in the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Moore. John Alex White, 29, of Longview, was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute at least 50 grams of meth. He was indicted in February 2007 with 15 others from Dallas and East Texas for being discovered in the Longview branch of "Operation Icebox," an investigation that began in 2003. White apologized for what he did and said he knew it was bad and that he let down his family and the United States. On Nov. 1, 2006, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at White's Longview apartment and discovered meth, White admitted. On Jan. 25, 2007, White was with his sister and co-defendant, Clara Arnette White, at her house when authorities conducted a search and found drugs there. White, who admitted to dealing meth, was defended by Clifton Roberson. Moore prosecuted the case.The investigation that began in January 2003 previously led to 19 people being convicted for their involvement in the Tyler-based organization that sold "ice" meth in Tyler, Shreveport and Miami. All 19, who were indicted in March 2006, have been sentenced.
In February 2007, eight more people were indicted in the Tyler-based meth ring. Oscar Wade Smith, 37, Harrison County, was sentenced to six years in prison by Davis after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute less than 50 grams of meth and using a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
Smith apologized to the judge and to his family for the embarrassment he had caused them. He said he accepted responsibility for what he did, but he was not a bad person. If it wasn't for his divorce and losing his children, he said he didn't think he would have began using drugs. He asked the judge to give him a second change at life with his new wife. Davis sentenced him to one year in prison for the drug count and five years for the gun charge. He also recommended that he undergo drug treatment in prison. Moore prosecuted the case while defense attorney Alex Tandy, of Hurst, represented Smith.