BURNET COUNTY, Texas -- Outside the Burnet County Sheriff's Office Wednesday afternoon sat three tables covered with nearly 70 guns.
"You have got pistols, you have numerous stolen weapons, you have assault riffles, shot guns," listed Texas Department of Public Safety Captain Floyd Goodwin.
The guns were just some of what was pulled out of the homes of Jimmy Hardin and Glen Alexander in Bertram as a result of a multi-agency methamphetamine ring bust. Agents also found two ounces of methamphetamine, 8,000 rounds of ammunition and more than $10,000 in cash.
"Everybody worked together with the same goal in mind, to take this organization out of business. To take these kind of weapons that you see in front of you off the streets. I applaud the teamwork of all these people," said Burnet County District Attorney Sonny McAfee.
A total of 15 people were arrested across the Hill Country. The arrested defendants include:
- Jimmy Don Hardin, 42 years old, from Bertram, TX
- Amy Jo Borseth, 40 years old, from Bertram, TX
- Timothy Steven Blackard, 44 years old, from Bertram, TX
- Glen Winston Alexander, 70 years old, from Bertram, TX
- Abel Cardoso, 52 years old, from Dallas, TX
- Guillermo Reyna, 55 years old, from Bastrop, TX
- Kimberly Ann Weston, 38 years old, from Burnet, TX
- Elizabeth Hope Burch, 48 years old, from Llano, TX
- Gary Randall Holland, 46 years old, from Bertram, TX
- Nichole Alexander Hernandez, 32 years old, from Liberty Hill, TX
- Edward Dwaine Holder, 50 years old, from Liberty Hill, TX
- Christopher Castillo, 41 years old, from Burnet, TX
- Cheyloh Jesse James Mather, 33 years old, from Liberty Hill, TX
- Bonnie Hardin Raines, 65 years old, from Llano, TX
- Joy Ashley Perez, 28 years old, from Liberty Hill, TX
Police are still looking for nine others.
Officials say the group sold and distributed drugs across eight Central Texas counties: Williamson, Burnet, Llano, Travis, Bell, Blanco, Lampasas and Bastrop. They also say Hardin headed the drug ring.
"Investigators involved in this investigation identified over 70 individuals either directly selling or using methamphetamine that was purchased from Hardin and his associates," said Major Jose Morales of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"Those that were involved in this organization received their methamphetamine from Mexico. It came from Mexico, came up through the city of Austin," added Resident Agent in Charge Greg Thrash of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Officers say Hardin and his associates distributed four to five pounds of meth each month. That's worth about $200,000.
"This is a big step in taking down an organization. It's not just about arresting individuals but taking down an organization and that's the impact of this," said McAfee.
"Organized crime, drug trafficking and gang activity are serious concerns for the entire state of Texas and the law enforcement community is not going to tolerate any of this," added Morales.
The people arrested are charged with engaging in organized crime and more charges could soon be added.
Wednesday's arrests were the result of a six-month long investigation by 14 law enforcement agencies. The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, Cedar Park Police Department, Burnet County District Attorney Office, Burnet Police Department, Bertram Police Department, Llano Police Department, Llano County Sheriff’s Office, Heart of Texas Auto Theft Task Force, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were involved.
Officials say Austin and surrounding areas have become a hub for Mexican drug cartels bringing in meth. They believe part of the reason why meth is such a big problem is because it's easy to get.