TYLER, Texas — Nine east Texas residents have been arrested and charged with various federal methamphetamine trafficking and firearms violations, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Texas announced.

After a nearly two-year, joint-investigation, a federal grand jury returned a 42-count indictment on January 15, 2020, charging nine east Texas residents with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in Smith, Cherokee, and Rusk counties.

According to the indictment, the arrested individuals conspired with others to distribute what federal prosecutors described as large quantities of methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Texas. Several of the defendants also possessed firearms while being convicted felons, in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities, alleges the indictment.

Arrested, according to federal prosecutors, were:

  • Alexa Leigh Brown, 50, of Tyler
  • Stanley Wayne Hunter, 43, of Troup, Texas
  • David Raymond Lusk, 41, of Jacksonville, Texas
  • Johnathan Rudy Duke, 30, of Recklaw, Texas
  • Anthony Russell Hamilton, 42, of Tyler
  • Donald Ray Carr, 55, of Tyler
  • Justin Ray Carr, 32, of Tyler
  • Joseph Paul Melancon, 46, of Henderson, Texas
  • Tonya Hudson Hammonds, 46, of Troup

Each appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell on January 22, 2020, and January 24, 2020, to be arraigned on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, and use, carrying, or possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted, several of the charged offenses carry a statuary penalty range that includes life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Texas Department of Public Safety; Smith County Sheriff's Office, Tyler Police Department, Troup Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff's Office, Henderson Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucas Machicek.