Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 21, 2013

Man convicted of drug offense

Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens — After a 4-minute deliberation, a 173rd District Court jury convicted Kevin Ray Rust of a first-degree-felony drug offense last week.

That’s all it took for the eight-woman, four-man panel to return with a guilty verdict against the 36-year-old former Gun Barrel City resident.

Due to Rust’s previous trip to prison, he is facing a prison sentence with a minimum of 15 years up to life in prison. Judge Dan Moore is scheduled to sentence the defendant at 1:30 p.m. on April 10.

According to testimony presented during the trial, authorities executed a search warrant on Rust’s residence on Nov. 21, 2011. Officers entered the home and found Rust in the hallway leading from his bedroom. Inside Rust’s bedroom closet, members of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Task Force found what appeared to be a business setup, including a desk and shelves, filled with narcotics, distribution supplies and paraphernalia.

According to District Attorney Scott McKee, the illegal substances found were methamphetamine in powder and crystal form, marijuana  and several different types of suspected narcotic pills. The closet contained tools used in dealing drugs, scales, marijuana grinders, one-hit boxes, razors used to apportion methamphetamine and more than 50 baggies.

Additionally, several baggies were found pre-packaged with methamphetamines ready to be purchased. A safe was found on top of the desk, which stored a large amount of cash, drugs and a small black notebook. The notebook listed sales and purchases, the names of Rust’s clients, and the amounts they owed or had paid him. 

McKee reported that a cell phone was recovered from the closet which contained multiple pictures of stacks of money that had been spread out for display. Other photos revealed significant amounts of drugs on a tray found in Rust’s closet.

McKee praised the work of the Narcotic Task Force and his office in the successful prosecution of the case. 

“Our juries are sick and tired of people who sell drugs in our community, and for everyone we put away, our community is just a little safer.” McKee said.

McKee said that he and Sheriff Ray Nutt will continue rooting out those that sell narcotics. 

Assistant District Attorneys Nancy Rumor and Justin Weiner prosecuted the case for McKee’s office. Larry Finstrom of Dallas defended Rust.