Pubdate: Thu, 06 Dec 2007
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 2007 Star-Telegram Operating, Ltd.
Author: Bryon Okada, Star-Telegram staff writer, INSIDE THE FISH BOWL: INFILTRATING A DRUG RING

The Last Of The Defendants Arrested In A Drug-Trafficking Roundup In 
May 2006 In Southeast Fort Worth Was Sentenced Wednesday.

FORT WORTH -- He called himself Tee.

He was a dealer from the west side of Fort Worth who sold dope near 
Texas Christian University. He could foot the bill for big purchases 
if need be. But his supplier had just been taken down by the cops, so 
he needed a new source. That was April 2005, when he started hanging 
around a tightly knit east Fort Worth neighborhood controlled by the 
Crips, talking to the crack dealers on the street.

Tee never acted the part of a gang member -- he was just a 
businessman. Suppliers were suspicious at first. But over the next 
year, Tee became a regular buyer in the neighborhood, and as he was 
introduced to leaders higher in the gang's chain of command -- 
Michael "MD" Lewis, Kelvin "Lil K" Spencer and Bertrand "Bee Bee" 
Bell -- he found that they were mostly businessmen, too.

"They were very smart," he said. "They were businessmen. I could call 
Bertrand Bell at 6:30 in the morning and he'd be doing business. The 
top people were not drug users. They drove average-looking vehicles. 
The people drawing attention to them get busted. These guys were 
smarter than that."

The operation

Lookouts were posted near the two entrances to the small neighborhood 
- -- called the Fish Bowl -- on the western edge of Cobb Park, bounded 
by Colvin Street, Belzise Terrace, Glen Garden Drive and South 
Riverside Drive. If cops came near, any guns and drugs on the street 
would quickly disappear.

But Tee could walk in and do business. And after a while, other crack 
dealers would vouch for him, and true to his word, when larger 
amounts of drugs were available, he had the money to make the buys.

Lewis supplied the cocaine -- about 20 kilograms a week -- that 
eventually made its way to the street. He rarely if ever touched his product.

Corey "Blue" Holmes made the deliveries to the Fish Bowl, and once 
there, it was cooked into crack by Bell and Spencer, according to 
court testimony.

There were days when as many as 30 dealers would stand on the 
sidewalk, or at the corner of Talton Avenue and Belzise Terrace, 
selling to regulars. Local cops said the neighborhood was 
"anti-police" and considered impenetrable to surprise raids.

Only regulars could buy. Street dealers stood along the blocks to 
make sure drugs were divided evenly. Customers would drive down the 
street and signal to the dealers. Street dealers would come to the 
car and take an order. Someone else would retrieve the drugs from the 
nearby woods or from behind one of the houses on the block. Another 
person usually delivered the drugs to the car.

Several drug houses were set up in the Fish Bowl and the nearby Poly 
area, where the users could go after making their buys. Prostitutes, 
who were typically users as well, were often on hand to service the 
dealers, trading tricks for dope. Although the gang leaders tended to 
avoid using drugs, they joined in with the street dealers in 
partaking of the prostitutes.

But on May 17, 2006, the massive operation came to an end. In a 
roundup by federal and local law enforcement officers, 18 people were 
arrested on drug-trafficking warrants. The early busts netted 25 guns 
and $1 million in drugs. In the coming days, there were more arrests.

The prosecution

The FBI had been called in months before, extending the Fort Worth 
Police Department's resources.

And Tee, it turned out, was an undercover Fort Worth police officer 
named Tegan Broadwater. Evidence gathered by Broadwater and the FBI 
during his 13 months undercover would be central to the federal 
government's prosecutions.

About half the warrants in the case were for people who did not live 
in the Fish Bowl.

Court testimony during the trials and sentencings -- beginning with 
Bell on Oct. 13, 2006 -- indicated that information was passing 
between defendants through go-betweens and relatives. Threats were 
exchanged, and it became known that anyone who testified against 
someone else could expect harsh reprisals once in prison. Bell was 
stabbed in a Beaumont prison. He was subsequently moved to another 
prison. (In prison lingo, informants are "given the jacket," meaning 
they can't remove the label of snitch.) Although Fish Bowl defendants 
were scattered to various federal prisons, retribution was common 
because of the vast network of Crips.

On Wednesday, nearly 19 months after the first round of arrests, U.S. 
District Judge Terry Means sentenced Holmes, 25, to time served, 
concluding the lengthy federal prosecution of Operation Fish Bowl. 
Holmes, who was described as a go-between for criminals higher up in 
the drug-trafficking chain, had been in federal custody since January 
2006. In addition, Holmes and his family were threatened repeatedly 
because of his cooperation with prosecutors.

"I'm just concerned for the safety of my family," a relative of 
Holmes told Means on Wednesday. The family has moved.

Although his federal sentence has been served, Holmes remains in 
custody pending the outcome of a state case.

The 41 Fish Bowl sentences total 629 years, 7 months and one life 
sentence. Information gathered for the federal prosecution during the 
past 19 months resulted in nine cold-case homicides being 
investigated and some being prosecuted in state court.

In May, Broadwater, who was moved to the FBI's Violent Crimes Task 
Force, was recognized by the Fort Worth Police Department as Officer 
of the Year.


The small neighborhood, about three miles southeast of downtown Fort 
Worth, had two well-guarded entrances and was considered impenetrable 
to surprise raids.

Fish Bowl leaders

Lewis was the main supplier of cocaine to the east side. Bell and 
Spencer ran the Fish Bowl operations. Bell provided drugs to the 
street dealers to sell to their customers. Spencer and a cohort 
rented a house on Belzise Terrace to distribute marijuana and crack cocaine.

Lookouts posted

Anyone turning onto Colvin Street would be spotted by a lookout with 
a walkie-talkie cell phone. Anyone entering at the intersection of 
Belzise Terrace and Glen Garden Drive would be spotted before 
reaching the blocks where the drugs were sold.

Dope market

Although street dealers sold to customers along nearby streets as 
well, this corner was the most popular spot. Many Fish Bowl cases 
were based on undercover deals made here. "That was basically the 
7-Eleven of dope," Fort Worth police officer Darrell Cleveland said.


The defendants in Operation Fish Bowl were convicted mostly on 
drug-trafficking charges:

Detroit "Lil Nut" Hines: Life

Howard "TT" Taylor: 60 years

Michael "OG Mike" Holt: 40 years

John "Blacc" Broadus: 30 years

Isaac "Gooch" Fountain: 30 years

Bertrand "Bee Bee" Bell: 20 years

Lawrence "Winkey" Carey: 20 years

Anthony "Lil Ant" Conley: 20 years

Mark "Big Dog" Driver: 20 years

Darryl "No Nut" Hines: 20 years

Michael "MD" Lewis: 20 years

Louis "Youngsta" Moody: 20 years

Aundra "Cookie" Taylor: 20 years

Kenneth "Lil Crazy" Walker: 20 years

Derrick "DWood" Woodard: 20 years

Aaron Wooden: 20 years

Ali Mitchell: 19 years, 7 months

Tony "Lala" Wadley: 19 years, 7 months

DeAngelo "Duck" Bell: 15 years, 8 months

Tony "T-Cag" Collins: 15 years, 8 months

Matthew "Junior" Dillard: 15 years, 6 months

Orlando "Gator" Howard: 15 years

Kelvin "Lil K" Spencer: 15 years

Princel "Bubba" Williams: 13 years

Aaron "A.T." Temple: 12 years, 6 months

Fedrick Moore: 11 years, 8 months

Gary "Gangsta" Wright: 11 years

Cleonard "Monk" Davis: 10 years

Valree Hartin: 10 years

Larry "187" White: 10 years

Reginald "Reggie" Harris: 9 years

Roderick "Big Rod" Howard: 8 years, 4 months

Gary "Lil Gary" Marshall: 7 years, 10 months

James "Woo" Wooden: 6 years

David "David Wayne" Page: 5 years, 10 months

Bobby "Man" Watkins: 5 years, 6 months

Miki "Smokey" Espinoza: 4 years

Calvin "C" Smith: 3 years

DeMarcus "Lil Cuzz" Penix: 2 years

Kristal Simpson: 2 years

Corey "Blue" Holmes: 1 year, 11 months

Cocaine in America

1. Texas is the leading entry point for cocaine in the United States.

2. Cocaine production is believed to be increasing because new coca 
fields have been discovered in Colombia and because record seizures 
have not resulted in cocaine shortages. (Colombia is the source of 
nearly 70 percent of the world's pure cocaine. In 2005, an estimated 
545 metric tons were produced.)

3. Cocaine shipments to the United States are primarily through 
Mexico and are handled by Mexican drug-traffickers such as the Gulf 
Cartel and The Alliance. Several Mexican organizations are in violent 
dispute over smuggling routes. Although most of the confrontations 
are in Mexico, some have spilled into South Texas. Such groups have 
technology, weapons and communications equal or superior to federal, 
state and local law enforcement.

4. U.S. law officers seized an estimated 234 metric tons of cocaine 
in transit in 2005.

5. Mexican, Colombian and African-American drug-trafficking 
organizations and criminal groups are the prime distributors of 
cocaine in the southwest United States, which includes Texas.

Sources: Justice Department, National Drug Threat Assessment 2007, 
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis (South 
Texas), May 2007
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart