Lufkin meth smurf gets 78 months - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin meth smurf gets 78 months

Mark Helton (Source: Angelina County Jail) Mark Helton (Source: Angelina County Jail)

From the US Attorney's Office

BEAUMONT, Texas - A 45-year-old Lufkin, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Mark Dwaine Helton pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2012, to possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.

According to information presented in court, on Oct. 12, 2011, Helton purchased cold pills containing pseudoephedrine at a Walmart store in Lufkin with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.  During the investigation, it was determined that from August 2011 to April 2012, Helton purchased cold pills containing pseudoephedrine on seven separate occasions from a Lufkin Wal-Mart, once from a Nacogdoches, Texas CVS pharmacy and eight separate times from a Lufkin Walgreens pharmacy.  The average person attempting to correct sinus de-congestion problems is believed to purchase only one or two boxes of the product per year.  Helton and seven others were indicted on Aug. 15, 2012 and charged with federal drug trafficking violations.

The act is known in inside circles as "smurfing." 

This case was investigated by the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division and the Lufkin Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.

Below are the names and case statuses for all defendants:

Harold David Neyland, 65, Lufkin: Pleaded guilty to two counts on Oct. 31. Sentencing date not yet set.

Don Michael Campbell, 38, Lufkin: Pleaded guilty to two counts on Oct. 29. Sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Tabitha Leanne Hopson, 24, Corrigan: Pleaded guilty to one count on Oct. 30. Sentencing set for March 19.

Laura E. Dixon, 35, Logansport, La.: Pleaded guilty to one count on Oct. 30. Sentencing set for March 19.

Mark Dwaine Helton, 45, Diboll: Pleaded guilty to one count on Oct. 31. Sentenced to 78 months in prison.

Frank Simon Lopez Jr., 30, Lufkin: Pleaded guilty to one count on Oct. 31. Sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Leia Renee Lopez, 34, Lufkin: Pleaded guilty to one count on Oct. 31. Sentencing set for March 19.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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