Jury Sends Strong Message
On Tuesday, December 12, 2007, in the 424th Judicial District Court of Llano County,
Judge Dan Mills presiding, Richard Wayne Rains, was convicted by a jury on a
Manufacture of Methamphetamine charge stemming from a search of his residence in
Tow, Texas on June 30, 2005.
The next day, the jury returned a sentence of 65 years in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice – Institutional Division and a $75,000.00 fine. “This is an early
Christmas present for the citizens of Llano County,” said Assistant District Attorney,
Rudy Taylor, who tried the case. “One more poison peddler is going away for a very
long time and the county is safer because of it. My hat is off to the jury who stood firm in
the face of this threat and assessed the longest sentence ever in Llano County for
manufacture of methamphetamine.”
Just days before the raid, the Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) of Marble Falls,
Texas had received information from Deputy Gary Blair, Llano Sheriff’s Department,
that Rains was manufacturing and selling a large quantity of meth from his home in Tow.
Investigator David Vaught of the Llano Police Department, on assignment to the NET,
followed up on the tip by looking through six large bags of trash from the residence that
had been placed out for collection. He found several items that indicated an ongoing
production of methamphetamine.
Upon serving a search warrant on the Rains’ home, NET found Rains, his wife, Tiffany
Rains, and their 19 month old child there. Inside the residence, they located two egg
crates packed with methamphetamine laboratory chemicals. The methamphetamine
was tested by Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab. The total weight of
methamphetamine amounted to nearly a pound.
Investigators Tommy Headrick and Brent Nichols testified that the residence had the
strong odor of a methamphetamine lab when they entered. They immediately
evacuated the residence and reentered with protective gear including oxygen tanks to
remove the volatile chemicals while the Llano Fire Department stood by for support in
case of an explosion or fire.
“All of the officers involved did an excellent job putting this case together,” said Taylor.
Paramedic Donna Johnson testified that the child’s clothing had the odor of
methamphetamine lab chemicals and the child had an elevated heart rate, low blood
oxygen content, a skin rash, and burns on the bottom of his feet, all of which are
indications that the child had been living in a home where methamphetamine was being
“This trial is indicative of District Attorney, Sam Oatman’s total commitment to ridding
our district of methamphetamine. I was provided the best equipment available to try the
case and all the time I needed to prepare for trial. The entire office staff, District
Attorney Investigator, Michelle Blindert, and every Assistant District Attorney had a part
in making the presentation of evidence effective,” said Taylor.
“This is one of many cases investigated by NET in Llano County and gives credit to the
success of a special investigative agency in handling drug cases,” District Attorney,
Sam Oatman said. “I want to thank Llano Police Chief, James Schilling who assigned
David Vaught to the task force and his cooperation in providing the City of Llano’s
support to the NET operations. Due to a lack of funding, NET was dissolved last year as
a multi county task force. Burnet is the only county with a designated drug task force
funded by that county. Drug investigation will now have to be handled by each
individual city and county so drug enforcement will have to proceed in a different
direction to fight this growing war on drugs. I also want to thank the Llano County jury
for doing their part.”