GALVESTON, Texas – On Thursday, June 6, 2019, a Galveston County jury convicted the second of five co-defendants for engaging in organized criminal activity by selling narcotics. The jury sentenced him to 30 years in prison.
The case against 46-year-old Ed Douglas Williams began when undercover detective with the Galveston Police Department’s Narcotics Division began trying to identify heroin organizations in the community. Det. Adrian Healy testified about how drug-dealing organizations are typically structured and make money. Healy also testified about how undercover officers investigate and build cases against drug dealers.
An undercover detective, who is not identified due his undercover status, testified that he began his investigation by contacting the defendant, a known marijuana dealer. The detective arranged the purchase of one ounce of marijuana with the defendant. At that time, the defendant put the detective in contact with another person described as a “middle man,” who the detective testified sold him a small amount of heroin.
The detective asked the middle-man to put him in touch with other dealers who could sell the detective more heroin. This led the detectives to three more individuals, which ultimately became co-defendants.
The detectives were able to purchase heroin from each of the co-defendants in what detectives described as hand-to-hand transactions. These exchanges, as well as the involvement of the defendant and middleman, would form the basis of the charge of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.
Under Texas law, when three or more people participate in a combination or profits of a combination by collaborating in carrying on criminal activity, all of the persons participating can be charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. The engaging charge raises the degree of crime one level from the criminal activity actually committed.
In this case, when the defendant sold the undercover detective one ounce of marijuana, he committed the state jail felony of delivery of marijuana in an amount of five pounds or less but more than one-fourth ounce. Because of the ability to charge the crime as engaging, the offense became a third degree felony.
Additionally, because the defendant was previously convicted of the felony offenses of sexual assault and failure to register as a sex offender, he faced a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and maximum sentence of 99 years or life. Upon the execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, the detectives recovered more marijuana as well as scales and baggies.
The jury convicted the defendant of the third degree offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. After hearing about the defendant’s criminal history, which amounted to several misdemeanor convictions and a total of five felony convictions including the two mentioned above, the jury sentenced him to 30 years in prison. The defendant will not become eligible for parole until half of his sentence has been served.
Williams was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dulce Salazar and Jeffery Chu in the 212th District Court with Judge Wayne Mallia presiding.