Five Arrested Following Lengthy Investigation of Drug Dealing From Indian Smoke Shops Hundreds of Prescription Pain Pills Sold to Undercover Officers on Multiple Occasions
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 20, 2009|
Five people were arrested on federal warrants early this morning in Pierce County and are charged with Conspiracy to Distribute a controlled substance – Oxycodone. BILLY MIRANDA FLORES, 40, of Puyallup, and BILL CELEYA FLORES, 59, of Tacoma, were taken into custody early this morning and will appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. According to the charging papers filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, the FLORES (who are father and son) are operators of the Indian Smoke Shop on Puyallup Tribal Trust Land in Milton, Washington and the Little Red Smoke Shop on Tribal Trust Land in Tacoma, Washington. Three other people are also charged in the drug distribution conspiracy: TINY BEAN-FLORES, 28, of Tacoma, DANNY LEE SHERWOOD, 25, of Federal Way, and SHELBIE INGHAM,18. One additional defendant, JAY TIMOTHY MOREHEAD, 24, remains a fugitive.
According to the criminal complaint, an 18-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI, revealed that BILLY MIRANDA FLORES was selling hundreds of pills of Oxycontin (oxycodone) each day from his business, the Indian Smoke Shop. FLORES was also the principal supplier of Oxycontin to other members of the conspiracy who then distributed it to others. FLORES and his father, BILL FLORES sold the Oxycontin for between $40 and $80 per pill. Over the course of the investigation, BILLY FLORES and his father, BILL CELEYA FLORES, sold Oxycontin to undercover agents from their respective smoke shop businesses. Other members of the conspiracy facilitated the drug deals between FLORES and undercover agents and confidential informants.
Search warrants were executed today at a number of residences, businesses and on vehicles. Agents seized guns, cash, and hundreds of prescription narcotics.
Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The lead investigative agencies on the case were DEA and FBI, with assistance from a number of state and local law enforcement agencies.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Gruber and Special Assistant United States Attorney Doug Hill. Mr. Hill is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute drug and gun cases in federal court.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.