‘Operation Taste the Rainbow:’ drug, gun trafficking investigation ends with 40 federal indictments

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 3:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A news conference on Wednesday afternoon was held to discuss the results of operation “Taste the Rainbow,” a large-scale drug and gun trafficking investigation in Lubbock.

The FBI, US Attorney’s Office, DPS, ATF, DEA, US Marshal, Homeland Security, Lubbock Police and Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the operation. They were targeting the overall leadership of gangs and criminal enterprises that drive violence in American communities. The goal of this operation was to make a significant impact on violent crime in Lubbock.

Early Wednesday morning, 15 federal arrest warrants were enforced in and around Lubbock with a couple in San Antonio. Five additional state arrest warrants were issued as well, related to gun and drug crimes. Nearly 200 law enforcement personnel were involved in the operation. An additional 20 were already incarcerated and were served federal arrest warrants related to this investigation.

“Dozens of violent criminals, and their guns and their drugs were removed from the streets in a matter of hours, and the community here in Lubbock is safer because of that,” said acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Prerak Shah.

The 40 defendants are being charged with a “vast array of federal crimes,” but primarily distribution of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of firearms, and conspiracy to commit those crimes. Many of them face decades long sentences.

“Every single defendant arrested has a rap sheet a mile long,” said Shah.

Between them, these defendants have been charged with 32 assaults, nine burglaries, three robberies, one murder, 24 firearm crimes, 69 controlled substance violations, three terroristic threats, forgery charge, 12 frauds and a child sexual assault. Those charges do not include what they are being charged with today.

“The people who were arrested today, and the people out in Lubbock still, need to know that they are facing a coordinated and aligned attack from local and state and federal law enforcement,” said Shah. “They need to know that federal authorities are committed to being a partner in removing the worst criminal elements from this community. And we’re not planning on resting until we’re done.”

There are five fugitives in this investigation. There are two from Lubbock, two from Lorenzo and one from Littlefield. They are Christopher Ruiz, Bobby Garcia of Lubbock. Oscar Alcala Jr. and Alexandra Cruz of Lorenzo and Christopher Limbaugh of Littlefield. Anyone with information about these fugitives, please call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

Operation Taste the Rainbow started about a year ago and ended with 40 indictments and 15 federal arrest warrants.

The operation got its name after law enforcement found multi-colored methamphetamine in the beginning of the investigation.

Fugitives in Operation Taste the Rainbow
Fugitives in Operation Taste the Rainbow(KCBD NewsChannel 11)
Operation Taste The Rainbow news conference

A news conference will begin at 3 p.m. to discuss the results of operation “Taste the Rainbow,” a large-scale drug and gun trafficking investigation in Lubbock. https://bit.ly/3hcsULC

Posted by KCBD NewsChannel 11 on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

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