Mineral Wells Area News

Life Sentence Given to Local Drug Dealer

Life Sentence Given to Local Drug Dealer
April 06
12:26 2023


PRESS RELEASE April 6, 2023

Palo Pinto County Courthouse

A four-time convicted felon chose to go to a jury trial this week in Palo Pinto on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance.  Arthur Gilmer Cross Jr., who was charged in the indictment in Cause Number 17958 with the offense of delivery of a controlled substance, namely methamphetamine, in an amount of 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams, faced a jury of his peers in the 29th Judicial District Court in Palo Pinto County.  The offense occurred on April 25, 2022, on the southeast side of Mineral Wells, Texas.  

Officers from the Mineral Wells Police Department and Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the City-County Narcotics Unit (CCNU), with some assistance from agents assigned to the Mineral Wells office of the Texas Department of Public Safety-Criminal Investigation Division, were conducting an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking in the spring of 2022. Through information gathered from anonymous complaints, information given to officers, and police surveillance those officers developed Mr. Cross as a suspect for dealing methamphetamine from his residence.

In March of 2022, they began utilizing a confidential informant to make purchases of methamphetamine from Mr. Cross. These transactions were recorded with a covert recording device. Those transactions resulted in two indictments being returned by a Palo Pinto grand jury in July of 2022 for delivery of a controlled substance. Those indictments also alleged that Mr. Cross had been previously convicted four times for various felony offenses, making his punishment range for those offenses that of a habitual offender. According to District Attorney Kriste Burnett, that means his punishment range was not less than 25 years nor more than 99 years or Life in prison.

66 year old Arther Gilmer Cross, Jr. will serve a life sentence for various charges including dealing drugs in Palo Pinto County. Photo From Palo Pinto County Sheriff

A jury was selected on Monday morning, comprised of 6 men and 6 women. From Tuesday morning through midmorning on Wednesday, the jury heard evidence presented by both sides regarding Mr. Cross dealing methamphetamine from two residences in Mineral Wells. They also watched the videos of those transactions conducted with the confidential informant. The confidential informant also testified regarding the transactions. After hearing all the evidence in the case, the jury deliberated and found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the case on trial. The defendant had elected the jury to assess his punishment, and entered pleas of true to the allegations that he has previously been convicted of Aggravated Robbery, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Sexual Assault, and Retaliation. Certified court and prison records were also introduced regarding those prior convictions. The jury also heard from Mr. Cross himself, as he testified in front of the jury, said Burnett. The jury then deliberated on the issue of punishment and returned the life sentence Wednesday afternoon.

“Mr. Cross was a drug dealer in Mineral Wells who was preying on drug addicts and destroying families. The jury heard evidence and took action to remove Mr. Cross from the streets and send a message to Palo Pinto County that we will not allow drug dealers to distribute drugs here without severe consequences,” said Assistant District Attorney Kason Mobley, who tried the case alongside District Attorney Burnett.

“We want to thank all the citizens of Palo Pinto County who showed up in response to their jury summons on Monday, and specifically say thanks to the twelve who were chosen and served in the trial. As we explained to the jury during the trial, our criminal justice system only works well when citizens of the community complete their civic duty by serving as potential jurors. This ensures that every defendant can exercise their constitutional right to trial by jury,” said District Attorney Burnett.

She also thanked the jury for the strong message they sent with their punishment verdict.

“The jury said by their verdict that they will not tolerate drug dealers in their community. Once they heard the extensive criminal history of Mr. Cross, dating back over 45 years, and recognizing the damage that drugs like methamphetamine inflict on our county, the deemed him deserving of this life sentence,” she said.