2 Tyler men behind bars following yearlong investigation into suspected drug dealing

Crime & Public Safety

Chaz O’Neal, left, Henry Hendrix (Courtesy Smith County Jail)

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Two Tyler men have been charged with engaging in criminal activity after authorities raided their respective residences as part of a yearlong investigation into possible drug dealing.

Henry Ayala Hendrix, 53, and Chaz Lynn O’Neal, 25, have been charged with engaging in criminal activity and are being held in Smith County Jail under a $500,000 bond each.

For more than a year, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division Special Agents assigned to the East Texas Anti-Gang Unit have been conducting an investigation in cooperation with Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Tyler Police Department into suspected drug trafficking and other crimes, said information from the DPS.

 “The investigation involved several suspects who were coordinating narcotics sales using social media messaging applications,” the DPS said. “In addition to narcotics sales, the suspects are known to possess firearms and to be affiliated with a criminal street gang.”

On Wednesday morning, the investigators, Texas Highway Patrol members, DPS Special Response Teams and Crisis Negotiation Unit executed arrest/search warrants at the home of O’Neal, 4850 Gallion Ave., and Hendrix, 6315 Morningside Drive.

Two pounds of methamphetamine, several ounces of marijuana, Ecstasy and two firearms were seized, the DPS said.

The arrest warrants said that investigators believed Hendrix and O’Neal were living in a “trap house, or base for an ongoing drug enterprise.”

Investigators had cell phone records, emails and voice mails that show Hendrix was coordinating the buying and selling of drugs, according to the arrest warrant.

Hendrix and others that are the target of the investigation also used Facebook messenger to facilitate sales of illegal drugs, the warrant said.

Smith County Sheriff’s Office used a “cooperative individual” to buy drugs from Hendrix, the arrest warrant said.

O’Neal was suspected of brokering drug deals for others, the arrest warrant said.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected, the DPS news release said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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