Tips prompted 6-month drug investigation at TCU

It all began in September, when Fort Worth police narcotics officers received a complaint from a resident on the 3200 block of Waits Avenue about possible drug trafficking, according to Wednesday’s arrest warrants.

That complaint turned into a six-month investigation, which culminated in the drug bust that resulted in the arrest of 16 university students around 5:40 a.m. Wednesday. The bust was coordinated by Fort Worth and TCU police. Complaints from students, faculty, parents and Fort Worth residents fueled the undercover operation, police confirmed.

According to more than 56 arrest warrant affidavits filed Wednesday, multiple officers spent thousands of dollars in undercover drug purchases to arrest the group of students, many of whom were roommates and friends.

In the months following the first complaint, police received multiple tips from “reliable and knowledgable informants” that led to various undercover stings headed by Officers J.C. Williams and Carlos Cespedes.

The first lead came on Oct. 10 when a confidential source informed Williams that an Asian male by the name of “Petie” was selling cocaine and marijuana from his home on University Drive. Narcotics officers began watching the home.

Two days later, Williams, working undercover, went to Peter Signavong’s house and paid $200 for cocaine and marijuana. According to the arrest warrants, Signavong also gave Williams what Signavong claimed to be LSD, although it tested positive as cocaine. Police bought more drugs from Signavong through October and into November.

The next tip, according to an affidavit, led Williams toward a house on Merida Street, where a man known as “Hunter” sold hydroponic marijuana and powder cocaine to university students. Police later identified the seller as Hunter Wallace McLaughlin.

Williams bought almost $500 of marijuana over the next month and discussed with McLaughlin the possibility of future purchases.

Then, on Oct. 18, Williams received information from TCU Police that a man named Ty Horn might be selling hydroponic marijuana. Police received a second tip on Nov. 3 that Horn was selling the marijuana to TCU students from his house on Brady Avenue.

Williams, realizing Horn played for the football team, looked at the athletics website to verify Horn’s identity. He recognized the faces of both D.J. Yendrey and Horn. Williams had bought from them while undercover before, according to the affidavit.

Two weeks later, Williams called Horn, attempting to buy more marijuana, according to the affidavit, and then arranged for Yendrey to meet Williams in the Kroger parking lot on University to make the sale. Williams paid $200 for the marijuana and discussed buying hydrocodone and mushrooms in the future. Yendrey said Williams could call either him or Horn in the future, but that Yendrey was the main supplier.

On Oct. 26, Williams received another tip, according to police records, that a man by the name of Clay Putney sold marijuana to students. With the help of the informant, Williams contacted Putney and asked for marijuana, according to the affidavits.

Putney directed the officer to the Sigma Chi fraternity house on campus, where he sold Williams a fourth of an ounce of marijuana. The drug dealer was later identified as Richard Clay Putney, according to the affidavit. Williams continued to buy from Putney through the end of November.

On Nov. 2, an informant told Officer A.D. Taylor that a man by the name of “Scooter” was selling marijuana on the TCU campus and the surrounding area. The suspect was later identified as Scott Lee Anderson, according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, police received a tip on Nov. 3 that a woman named Cindy Jaqueline Zambrano illegally sold prescription pills. Williams purchased the prescription drug Oprana, or oxymorphone, from Zambrano twice. According to the affidavit, Zambrano brought a young girl with her when she met Williams at Hulen Mall.

On Nov. 7 and again on Nov. 10, Williams met Anderson in the Kroger parking lot and purchased marijuana. Williams asked for hydrocodone and Xanax, and Anderson responded that he did not have any but that his friend by the name of “Patrick Burke” ordered them from Pakistan. His friend was later identified as Earl Patrick Burke, according to the affidavit.

A week later, police connected Burke and Anderson to the address on Waits Avenue where the first complaints of drug activity had originated.

Then came a separate lead — a student known as “Eddie” was selling marijuana out of his home on Wayside Avenue. On Nov. 17, Williams bought marijuana from Eddie, who was later identified as Eduardo Hernandez, according to the affidavit.

Williams said he returned to Hernandez’ home for another drug deal in early December. When he knocked on the door, Hernandez’ roommate, later identified as Jonathan Blake Jones, answered the door, according to the affidavit.

“You can call me or him,” Jones told Williams, referring to the fact that both sold drugs.

More than a month later, Wiliams went to pick up drugs from Burke’s house on Waits Avenue.

According to the warrant, Patrick was out of town, but his friend, Bud, sold Williams a heat-sealed envelope of alprazolam (or Xanax) for $775. Bud was later identified as Bud Pollard Dillard, according to the arrest warrant.

Around the middle of November, Williams was told about a woman named “Katie” who sold marijuana to students. She was later identified, according to the arrest warrant, as Katherine Ann Petrie.

On Nov. 30, Williams called Petrie, introducing himself as “Jonathan” and asking for LSD, the affidavit reported. They met at the 7-11 on Berry Street accross from the TCU Bookstore, where Petrie waited in her Lexus. The officer paid $100 for a bag of white sheets, which contained LSD. She also directed Williams to other dealers to purchase marijuana and later offered him Adderall.

Before winter break, Williams was informed of a man named “Will” who sold marijuana on campus. Police later identified the man as William Davis Jennings.

On Dec. 15, Williams called Jennings and asked for a half an ounce of marijuana. Jennings told the officer to drive to the Phi Delta Theta house in Worth Hills, according to court records.

They entered the fraternity house and went to a room on the third floor. There, Williams bought $190 worth of marijuana.

On Jan. 10, Williams heard that a man known as Matt Davis was selling marijuana on the campus. Police later identified the man as Matthew Iarossi Davis, according to the affidavit.

Over the course of a month, an informant helped police arrange four undercover drug deals involving Cespedes and Williams at Davis’ home in the Gallery 1701 Apartments. The officers spent more than $2,400 in the four transactions, according to the arrest warrant.

Then, on Jan. 19, Williams focused his attention on Yendrey and Horn. That day, Williams contacted Yendrey and said he wanted to buy marijuana. Yendrey didn’t have any, but the TCU football player said he knew someone who did.

Yendrey and Williams met in the Kroger parking lot, where Williams got in Yendrey’s car and drove to a home on Winfield Avenue. There, they met Yendrey’s friend, Tanner, who was later identified as Tanner Wilson Brock, according to the arrest warrant. There, Williams bought $200 worth of marijuana. Afterward, Brock said to go to him first, instead of Yendrey.

During another meeting with Williams on Feb. 1, Brock also discussed the drug test football players underwent in the weeks prior.

“Ya, they caught us slipping,” Brock told Williams, according to the arrest warrant.

The six-month investigation may not be over, according to police late Wednesday. One student, Hunter Wallace McLaughlin, is still at large, and more arrests could occur in the coming days.

Mary Muller contributed to this report.