SHERMAN – A Dallas man has been convicted of federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Eric R. Roberts, 51, was convicted of multiple federal violations, including continuing criminal enterprise; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Roberts was found guilty by a jury following a 10-day trial before U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.
The jury also returned a verdict for criminal forfeiture of a large amount of property seized from Roberts, including 37 firearms, 8 vehicles, and $436,295 in US currency.
Four additional co-defendants – Ronald Lewis McGuire, Lowell Eugene Sargent, Philip S. Lala, and Christopher Shaun Ragle – were found guilty by the same jury of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The jury found that all five defendants were individually responsible for 1000 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana.
According to information presented in court, Roberts was a leader of a large-scale national drug trafficking organization spanning several years, with McGuire, Sargent, Lala, and Ragle acting as drivers.
Roberts was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 15, 2021. He faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mesquite Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brent L. Andrus and Ernest Gonzalez.