Back in January, we told you the sordid story of Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy Standric Choice
, who, with two other men, was arrested for plotting to steal cocaine so they could deal cocaine -- how HBO. Two months and one confidential informant later, the 36-year-old former law enforcement officer is getting set to become a federal prisoner for at least the next decade: He has agreed to enter a guilty plea next week to ...
...one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and possessing with the intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine while on the property comprising a truck stop.
So says the U.S. Attorney's Office media release that just landed in our in-box, which also recounts in great detail the crime for which Choice was arrested and to which he's going to plead guilty as charged next week in a U.S. Magistrate Judge
's courtroom. And that 10 years in prison? It could also be as much as a life sentence, on top of which there could also be a $4.25 million fine. The two other men involved in the scheme -- which unfolded in an I-20 truck stop parking lot off Bonnie View Road, involved an undercover cop posing as a South Texas dope dealer and four kilos or Irving PD's seized blow -- also agreed to plead guilty. After the jump, the whole story.
DALLAS SHERIFF'S DEPUTY TO PLEAD GUILTY
IN COCAINE TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY
Standric Choice, 36, a Dallas Sheriff's Deputy, has signed documents, filed in U.S. District Court late yesterday, in which he agrees to plead guilty to a superseding indictment charging him with offenses related to his involvement in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, announced acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Specifically, Choice has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and possessing with the intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine while on the property comprising a truck stop.
It is expected that Choice will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge within the next week to formally enter his guilty plea.
He faces a statutory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, along with a $4.25 million fine.
Choice, along with co-defendants Terry Kemone Anderson, 29, and Charlie Lee Hill, 31, were arrested on January 9, 2009, on federal drug charges outlined in a criminal complaint. They were subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas. Hill pled guilty on March 3, 2009, to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Anderson has signed documents, that have been filed in court, agreeing to plead guilty to the same offense. He is scheduled to formally enter his guilty plea on March 24, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney. Both Hill and Anderson face a statutory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, along with a $2 million fine.
According to the complaint filed in the case, on January 7, 2009, agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA) group received information from a reliable Confidential Informant (CI) that a Dallas County Sheriff's Officer, Standric Choice, was involved with an individual, Charles Lee Hill, believed to be his brother-in-law, in distributing narcotics. A meeting was held with the CI in which the CI described a narcotics transaction he referred to as "trading licks" (stealing narcotics from the drug supplier). After meeting with the CI, agents advised the CI to arrange a meeting with Hill and the Deputy Sheriff to finalize plans for a drug deal.
According to court documents filed in the case, on January 8, 2009, Hill met with a person whom he believed was a drug dealer, but was in fact a confidential informant (CI). The CI told Hill that a drug dealer from South Texas was bringing him four kilograms of cocaine the next day. Hill and the CI then discussed a scheme to steal the cocaine from the drug dealer by faking the arrest of the CI and seizing the cocaine during the drug buy. Hill told the CI that he had a police officer, later identified as Deputy Sheriff Standric Choice, who would pretend to arrest the CI and seize the cocaine, and then release the CI and the cocaine to them. Hill and the CI agreed that they would split the four kilograms of cocaine equally between them and they would compensate Deputy Choice for his role in the scheme.
As planned, on January 9, 2009, Hill and Anderson arrived at the TA Truck Stop/Burger King on I-20 and Bonnie View Road in Dallas in Anderson's vehicle to observe the drug deal. Shortly thereafter, the CI arrived at the truck stop and met with the South Texas drug dealer. The drug dealer entered the CI's vehicle with a duffel bag containing the four kilograms of cocaine. Unbeknownst to Hill, Anderson, and Choice, however, the South Texas drug dealer was an undercover police officer and the cocaine was supplied by the Irving, Texas, Police Department.
Once the undercover officer entered the CI's vehicle, Deputy Choice drove into the truck stop parking lot in a marked Dallas County Sheriff's vehicle with its overhead lights activated. Deputy Choice, dressed in his Dallas County Sheriff's uniform and armed with a firearm that was clearly visible on his hip, approached the driver's side of the CI's vehicle. Deputy Choice told the undercover officer something to the effect of "you don't want to be a part of this." In response, the undercover officer got out of the CI's vehicle and left the truck stop in his own vehicle, leaving behind the duffel bag with the four kilograms of cocaine.
Deputy Choice then removed the CI from his vehicle, arrested and handcuffed him, placed him in the back seat of the squad car, and then returned to the CI's vehicle to retrieve the duffel bag. Deputy Choice opened the duffel bag, which held the four kilograms of cocaine, and looked inside it before placing it in the trunk of his squad car.
Deputy Choice then left the truck stop, followed by Anderson and Hill. They drove approximately one mile to a secluded area and stopped, where Deputy Choice released the CI who got into Anderson's vehicle. At the same time, Deputy Choice removed the duffel bag with the cocaine from the squad car's trunk, gave it to Hill, and then left. Hill and the CI split the four kilograms of cocaine in Anderson's vehicle while Anderson drove back to the truck stop. At the truck stop, the CI got out of Anderson's vehicle with his two kilograms of cocaine and entered his vehicle which he had left there. The CI then returned the cocaine to the Irving Police Department. Anderson and Hill left the truck stop and were arrested a short distance away; the remaining two kilograms of cocaine were found at Hill's feet. Deputy Choice was arrested shortly thereafter at the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.