Just under a year after 19-year-old Sarah Furay was arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs from her College Station apartment, the "adorable drug kingpin" has finally been indicted and charged with four counts related to dealing drugs.
A Brazos County Grand Jury, convened in July, handed down the indictment last Thursday, charging Furay with four felony counts including:
- Possession with intent to deliver more than 4 grams but less than 200 grams of cocaine, a first-degree felony punishable with anywhere from five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if she is convicted.
- Possession with intent to deliver more than 4 grams but less than 200 grams of methamphetamine, another first-degree felony that comes with a punishment of five years to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000 if she is convicted.
- Possession with intent to deliver more than 20 but less than 80 units of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), a second-degree felony that could mean anywhere from two years to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if she is convicted.
- Possession of more than 2 ounces but less than five pounds of "usable" marijuana, a state jail felony punishable with 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
When Furay was first caught in November 2015 with 31.5 grams of cocaine, 126 grams of high-grade weed, 29 Ecstasy tablets, some methamphetamine and 60 tabs of acid in her possession and accused of dealing drugs from her College Station apartment in November 2015, she flashed a grin for the camera.
The mugshot of the "adorable drug kingpin," as Death and Taxes dubbed her, quickly went viral, and social media erupted with scathing criticism over the casual way a white woman was able to spend only a day in jail despite being arrested with massive quantities of illegal drugs, while minorities are staring down years in prison for much less.
When it came out shortly thereafter that Furay is the daughter of Bill Furay, a supervisory agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency now stationed in Panama City, Panama who had previously made a ton of arrests of major Houston drug dealers, the story whipped up even more outrage. After all, perhaps Furay had the nerve to grin for the camera because she thought she was going to avoid any serious repercussions from her alleged dealing through her father's connections, the reasoning went.
And the idea didn't seem far-fetched. Furay only spent a single night in jail before making her $39,000 bond and weeks then months ticked by without any word of an indictment or charges filed against her. However, there was a reason behind the slow pace that had nothing to do with who Furay or her father, according to Lt. Steve Brock, the College Station Police Department spokesman.
In fact, Brock explained the hold-up was actually a state issue. Law enforcement organizations not equipped with their own crime labs have to send the evidence off to the Texas Department of Public Safety's labs, and those state labs are so backed up it takes months to get evidence analyzed and processed. It took at least eight months for the state lab to test and confirm the drugs collected in Furay's apartment are the real deal. "I know DPS did everything they could to get this stuff processed as quick as possible," Brock says. "As soon as we got the results we confirmed that with the district attorney and they're the ones who convene the grand juries."
So while Furay is still known as the "adorable" drug dealer for better or worse, it turns out she's not so cute or well connected enough to avoid being charged and going to trial. A trial date hasn't been set yet.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.