PLANO, Texas – A 38-year-old La Porte, Texas, woman has been convicted of federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.
Jennifer Lynn Culpepper was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, following a three-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sean Jordan.
According to information presented in court, in September 2019, DEA, Dallas Enforcement Group One, began investigating a drug trafficking organization operating out of Houston and Dallas, Texas. This organization was responsible for distributing multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine. Anthony Rae Ruiz agreed with others to transport approximately nine kilograms of methamphetamine from Houston to Dallas and meet at a gas station in McKinney. Members of DEA Enforcement Group One, the North Texas Criminal Interdiction Unit, and McKinney Police Department established surveillance at the location. Shortly after midnight on Sep. 19, 2019, Ruiz arrived at the gas station. Ruiz exited his vehicle, removed a duffel bag containing methamphetamine from the trunk, and placed it in his backseat.
While in route to a second location to complete the deal, a traffic stop was conducted on Ruiz’s vehicle. Officers encountered Ruiz and Jennifer Lynn Culpepper. A canine officer alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle and police seized approximately 10 kilograms of methamphetamine from the car.
On Sep. 19, 2019, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration filed a criminal complaint against Ruiz and J Culpepper. The complaint charged them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On August 21, 2020, following a guilty plea, Ruiz was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy.
Under federal statutes, Culpepper faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the DEA Enforcement Group One, the North Texas Criminal Interdiction Unit, and the McKinney Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Plano office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ernest Gonzalez and Colleen Bloss.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Texas