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Ennis drug trafficking

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Ennis residents now have two former city marshals serving on their city council (legally, it’s the city commission) and both need to explain how our sheriff’s office and federal authorities busted an alleged drug-trafficking ring when this stuff was happening during Dale Holt and Red Sanders’ terms of office.

Now, there have been police chiefs and marshals before and after these two (the marshal is elected, but the chief doesn’t have to be the same guy), but since they are now directly accountable to the voting public, they ought to be forthright with our newspaper about how members of the Castillo family, according to federal indictments handed down recently, got away with running drugs out of ABC Tire.

The indictments, unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas, allege rampant drug crimes. How come Ennis’ department wasn’t the lead agency in this thing? How come it took outside agents to crack down on these crimes?

There’s a ray of hope in Ennis, though. City Marshal John Erisman, who prided himself on his Christian values and ethics when he was elected last year, has fulfilled campaign promises of ridding the streets of drugs (we can argue the merits of the drug war in a later issue), and so far, it’s working.

But during the terms of office for Holt and Sanders, as well as officers and detectives still working at EPD, the drug trade flourished.

It was a routine for every re-election race Holt ran to have a headline-making drug bust, according to officers at the EPD and former candidates for city marshal.

There’s progress in the police department now, regardless of the complexity and amount of time it will take to fight an entrenched way of life, but we’re almost certain Ennis took a ride back to the 1970s in electing two former chiefs who apparently didn’t do much about the biggest drug-running ring in their city.

The indictments sealed reportedly produced the following arrests of Ennis residents: Rene Castillo, 26; Teresa Castillo, 48; Nicholas Castillo, 27; Heidi Royball, 24; Richie Hovis, 20; Will Hodges, 33; Claudio Flores, 32; and Ramon "Smokey" Ornealas, 27.

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