A 41-year-old game room operator is facing up to life in federal prison after being found guilty in a drug sales conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Friday.
A federal jury convicted Jeremy Lee Crabtree on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, a news release from the U.S Attorney's Office said.
Authorities have been investigating Crabtree's involvement in a methamphetamine sales conspiracy since 2014, according to federal court documents. Prosecutors presented evidence during Crabtree's trial that in 2014 and 2015, he operated an illegal gambling business near Interstate 35W and Long Avenue that became a hub for Aryan Brotherhood gang-related activity and methamphetamine trafficking, the release said.
Although Crabtree was not an official member of the Aryan Brotherhood, he was a close associate to Brotherhood gang members and allowed them to use his game room to buy and sell methamphetamine, the release said.
Federal agents purchased methamphetamine from individuals involved in the conspiracy on multiple occasions, court documents said. A co-defendant of Crabtree's told investigators that he saw methamphetamine being delivered at Crabtree's gameroom to others, the complaint said.
A witness told investigators that he saw Crabtree and another co-defendant sell half-ounce and ounce bags of methamphetamine to others on at least 50 occasions, according to the complaint. Another witness said that Crabtree and was involved in the sale of up to four ounces of methamphetamine to another co-conspirator every four of five months, the complaint said.
Crabtree also allowed Brotherhood members to discipline Brotherhood gang members for gang-related violations, according to the release. One of Crabtree's co-conspirators held a man at gunpoint in a motel room until he was given one half ounce for methamphetamine for his release, the complaint said.
Another co-conspirator was forced to strip naked to prove he was not wearing a recording device for police, according to the complaint.
The conspiracy count carries a penalty of not less than 10 years or more than life in federal prison and a $10 million fine. Crabtree's sentencing is scheduled for April.
In February, three men with ties to the Aryan Brotherhood were sentenced to life in prison for their roles in methamphetamine sales conspiracy cases. Tarrant County prosecutors have also played roles in attempting to disrupt Aryan Brotherhood gang activities.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn Smith and Frank Gatto prosecuted.