Five indicted federally in massive Harris County drug case

Half of the defendants in a massive Harris County drug case have been indicted by a federal grand jury— a recent move that could mean the cancellation of a state case two years in the making.

Attorneys in the case learned Thursday at a hearing in Hamilton that five of the 10 defendants had been indicted on charges including distribution of a controlled substance, attorney Mark Shelnutt said. Chief Assistant District Attorney Mark Post told attorneys his office wouldn't prosecute them in a case that he said involves millions of dollars in drugs.

Of the other five defendants who haven't been federally indicted, two of them — Cortez Johnson, 30, and Tamika Hill, 31 — have indicated they would have testified for the state. Post has said Hill wouldn't face state prosecution.

While the remaining defendants still face state charges, Shelnutt said more federal indictments were anticipated, which could cancel the March 31 start date for the state trial.