Pubdate: Thu, 10 Apr 2014
Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)
Copyright: 2014 The Advertiser Co.
Note: Letters from the newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Rebecca Burylo


A total of 36 1/2 pounds of meth and more than $130,000 was seized in
a criminal investigation that ended in six arrests Thursday after an
early morning drug raid on two Alabama prisons.

The arrests included two inmates and a corrections officer charged
with being part of one of the most substantial meth trafficking rings
in the state.

The investigation, beginning in Feb. 2012 involved the joint efforts
of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alabama Department of
Corrections along with the Middle and North District U.S. Attorney

Phillip Burgin, 23, a Kilby Prison corrections officer; Stephanie
Auban, 41, of Cullman; William Thomas Crane II, 36, of Crossville; and
Alberto Trejo have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to
distribute methamphetamine.

Miguel Calles-Gutierrez, 42, of Birmingham and his son Gumaro Calles,
24, were arrested on charges of distribution of methamphetamine.

All are now being held under federal custody.

Police found 6 1/2 pounds of meth at the home of Miguel
Calles-Gutierrez when making the arrests. Three firearms, three
vehicles and between $50,000 and $60,000 were also found.

At the time of the arrests, Trejo was incarcerated in the Bullock
County Correctional Facility in Union Springs, for unrelated charges.

Calles was also held in a state detention facility at the time of his
arrest at the Staton Correction Facility in Elmore, Alabama.

Through a contraband cell phone and developing information, federal
agents have severely disabled the group and are confident of future
arrests, according to Clay Morris, assistant special agent in charge
of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Due to the combined efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration
and the Alabama Department of Corrections, a large-scale drug
trafficking organization was identified, investigated and ultimately
dismantled," Morris said.

Agents discovered Gumaro Calles was using a cell phone while in prison
to allegedly coordinate drug deals across north and middle Alabama and

Trejo was also found to be connected to the drug ring, which agents
are calling the Miguel-Calles drug trafficking organization.

Morris said Trejo recruited the help of Burgin, a corrections officer
at Kilby State Prison in Montgomery to drive meth across the country
for the group.

Law enforcement intercepted communications from Gumaro Calles' cell
phone to set up a traffic stop as Burgin crossed into Oklahoma.

Police there seized 30 pounds of meth in the form of ice hidden in
blankets in Burgin's black Ford Expedition.

More than $130,000 was seized in another traffic stop with information
used from Gumaro Calles' phone.

Morris said the Miguel-Calles group is responsible for trafficking
more than 90 pounds of meth in Alabama along with cocaine and
marijuana deals in Texas and California.

"Drug dealers spread poison for profit. They addict children for
profit, they destroy families for profit, and they infect communities
for profit," said George Beck, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District
of Alabama.

"There are countless victims of drug dealing. We need to remember and
attempt to help these victims and need to continue to do all that is
possible under the law to punish these poison pushers," he added.

If convicted, Burgin, Auban, Crane and Trejo face a sentence of at
least 10 years in prison and a maximum prison term of life. Miguel
Calles-Gutierrez and Gumaro Calles face a sentence of no more than 20
years in prison. In federal system, there is no parole.
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