INGRAM, Texas – The Texas Hill Country is known for its scenic beauty and peaceful country living, but some small communities are also becoming known for drugs, mainly methamphetamine.
Last week the small town of Ingram, with the help of neighboring Kerrville Police, took down a meth house where the drug was being distributed to users.
According to a news release, the Ingram Marshal's Department began investigating complaints of possible drug activity at a home in the 100 block of Morgan Street.
As the investigation progressed the Marshals were able to tie the activity at the home to other illegal activity taking place in the city of Kerrville and in Kerr County.
"This is a wonderful area to raise your kids, but we also have a problem with methamphetamine," said Marshal Rowan Zachry.
For the past 24 years Zachry has been keeping the peace in Ingram as the city's Marshal. He said while there's always been meth around, the drug is causing more problems in his community and the surrounding area.
With just six officers to handle all the calls in town, Zachry admits fighting a drug war can be a challenge.
"We're a small department so we have to do it with what we have," Zachry said.
So last Thursday when it came time to raid the suspected meth house, he turned to the Kerrville Police Department's Special Crimes Unit.
The two agencies shared information and built a case that ended in the arrests of five people.
"Once we had a lot of the information, we shared that with Kerrville and found that they had similar interests in some of the players involved," Zachry said.
Three of the suspects arrested at the home were charged with possession of a controlled substance. The suspects were identified as Cindy Bowen, 40; Beric Smith, 31; and Megan Matlock, 35. Also arrested at the home were Crystal Clawson, 36, for resisting arrest and Shawn Conroy, 38, who was wanted on nine outstanding warrants.
Zachry said the Marshal's Department was tipped off by residents living on Morgan Street who had been calling in complaints for weeks about loud noise coming from the house and a constant stream of traffic at all hours of the day.
Martin Appel was one of those residents who complained. He suspected drug activity and was worried about what it would bring to his neighborhood.
"You don't know what's going to happen, is somebody going to get into a drug war or something and start shooting up things," Appel said. "It's a relief that it's all quiet again, that's a good way to look at it."
While police didn't find a big stash of meth inside the home, Zachry said the drug traffic has stopped on the street and the bust is leading to bigger things.
"There's a lot more to this story, but you don't know the end, until you get to the end and we're not there yet," Zachry said. "It may lead to other things that are within our community, outside our community or maybe an adjacent county. We really don't know; there's a lot of pieces in this that are still moving."
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