MIDLAND, TEXAS – Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration–El Paso Division and United States Attorney John E. Murphy, announced the indictment and arrest of 56-year-old Deborah Morton, a teacher in the Midland Independent School District, for purchasing from and distributing controlled substances to former students.
The indictment–returned on Wednesday and unsealed today–charges Morton with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; one count of receiving a controlled substance from a minor; one count of maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing and using a controlled substance; and, one count of distributing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Morton’s co-defendants–21-year-old David Bonilla of Midland, 22-year-old Eric Rodriguez of Midland, and 20-year-old Christian Porter of Midland–are charged in the conspiracy count. Bonilla is also charged with one count of distribution of methadone. Rodriguez is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
The indictment alleges that between September 2007 and October 13, 2010, Morton and the others conspired to distribute hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone and marijuana at times within 1,000 feet of Alamo Junior High School. The indictment also alleges that Morton received Oxycontin from a minor and that she maintained a residence in the 4300 block of West Storey in Midland for the purpose of distributing and using methadone, hydrocodone and marijuana.
DEA agents arrested Morton yesterday in Lubbock. She remains in federal custody following her initial appearance today. She is awaiting transfer to the Western District of Texas. DEA agents arrested Bonilla and Rodriguez in Midland yesterday. They remain in federal custody following their initial appearances before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts this morning. Porter was taken into custody this morning, had his initial appearance before Judge Counts and was released on bond pending trial. Upon conviction of all charges, Morton faces a mandatory minimum of one year and up to 40 years in federal prison; Bonilla, Rodriguez and Porter, up to 20 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Brandi Young is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
Allegations in indictments are merely accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.