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Kilgore, Texas News

Major Methamphetamine Distribution Operation Busted in Northeast Texas: Suspect in Custody

John David Thorton Jr

Early on the morning of August 26, 2023, the Northeast Texas Regional SWAT Team, in collaboration with the Rusk County Sheriffs Office, Gregg County Organized Drug Unit, and Henderson PD, executed a search warrant at an RV located in far north Rusk County. The target of the operation was John David Thorton Jr., a Kilgore resident suspected of running a major methamphetamine distribution operation.

The investigation, which originated in Kilgore, uncovered evidence that Thorton had been selling large quantities of methamphetamine to the Kilgore community from the RV. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies was necessitated by the remote location of the operation site.

Thorton's assumption that his location in Rusk County would shield him from Kilgore law enforcement proved to be mistaken, as the multi-agency investigation persisted. The operation was a culmination of weeks of meticulous planning and evidence-gathering.

Aardvark (Forced entry tool)

The execution of the search warrant was met with initial resistance from Thorton, who refused to comply with SWAT team demands to open the RV door. To prevent the potential destruction of evidence, law enforcement deployed a newly acquired tool known as "Aardvark," which facilitated the swift opening of the RV door. Thorton and others present were then apprehended without further incident.

The subsequent search of the RV yielded substantial quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana, and an assortment of firearms. Kilgore Police Department's Crime Scene Investigators played a pivotal role in documenting and collecting the evidence.

The suspects, including Thorton, were transported to the Bulldog Bed and Breakfast (nickname given by police officers for the Kilgore Jail) to await arraignment. The successful operation was the result of seamless cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies, each contributing their expertise to dismantle the methamphetamine distribution network.

The Kilgore Police Department expressed its gratitude to all involved agencies for their contributions in ensuring the operation's success.

"Meth will kill, steal, and destroy everything around it. This is why we take a hard-hitting approach to drug enforcement. We realize we can't arrest ourselves out of this problem, but at times, we must put dealers in jail and work with Prosecutors to ensure they face their consequences. Without consequences, drug dealers don't just stop. We can't and will not allow them to poison our community. We have repeatedly warned drug dealers in Kilgore and it's up to them to stop or move. If not, they too will soon see us. You may think you are smarter, but you aren't." - posted the Kilgore Police Department.




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