McLennan County (FOX 44) — The U.S. Department of Justice says a federal grand jury indicted 27 people on drug charges this week. All of the suspects are from the Waco area.

This comes after a multi-agency investigation into what law enforcement calls a methamphetamine distribution ring.

All of the suspects are charged with

with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. According to the indictments the conspiracy began in January 2021.

Here is a breakdown of the charges:

Charged in W22CR095: Jason Fletcher, 38, of Belton and Luis Guillermo Martinez, 28, of Waco.
If convicted, Fletcher and Martinez face up to life in prison.

Charged in W22CR096: Karen Pendola Bennett, 45, of Waco; Jesus Espinoza Lopez, 33, of
Waco; Patricia Nelson, 49, of Waco; Robert Johnson, 46, of Woodway; and Clayton Wilkins, 62,
of Waco. If convicted, Bennett, Lopez, Nelson and Johnson face up to life in prison. Wilkins, if
convicted, faces up to 40 years in prison.

Charged in W22CR109: Alejandro Solis, 32, of Waco; Jesus Castellanos-Renteria, 39, of
Houston; Gustavo Alvarado Guerrero, 29, of Waco; William Charles Herrera, 30, of Waco; Maria
Picon, 35, of Clifton; Rogers Anthony Marshall, 49, of Valley Mills; Denecia Alley, 32, of Waco;
Jovita Ibarra, 28, of Waco; Lance John Showen, 51, of Waco; Hector Dominguez, 31, of Waco;
Nicholas Ray Ramirez, 41, of Waco; Flocelo Mondragon Jr., 35, of McGregor; Alfred Turner, 28,
of Waco; Areli Martinez Torrez, 38, of McGregor; Alexxus Briann Arocha, 26, of Waco; Felix
Alberto Huezo-Hernandez, 33, of Waco; Sonya Renee Hughes, 44, of Waco; and Steven Merritt,
52, of Bruceville-Eddy. If convicted, Arocha, Huezo, Hughes and Merritt face up to 40 years in
prison. All other defendants, if convicted, face up to life in prison.

Only one suspect is not in custody. Karen Pendola Bennett is considered a fugitive at this time.