‘D Magazine’ Digs into Highland Park Drug Ring

The tragic slaying of teenager Joey Pintucci intersects with “The Highland Park Drug Ring” in the April cover story for D Magazine, a sister publication of Preston Hollow People.

The article by Peter Simek isn’t about the former Highland Park High School student but rather, as one subhead says, about, “How an odd cast of characters – including a mother of 10 and a cop – ran a deadly drug ring out of a Highland Park townhome.”

Federal court documents accuse Gary Collin Bussell of leading the operation out of his townhome. Gina Corwin, of University Park, is the mother of 10. Frank Dockery belonged to the Plano Police Department. They were indicted along with eight others from Carrollton, Dallas, Garland, McKinney, and The Colony.

“They were a motley crew, from divergent walks of life, but many were users who sold drugs to help fund their habit,” according to D Magazine.

Most of the defendants, who were charged with seven counts of drug and weapons-related offenses, were expected to make plea deals with prosecutors, Simek said. Corwin pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to manufacture and distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

Order a copy of D Magazine’s April Issue

The magazine describes a Park Cities mom buying pot brownies, restaurants trading meals for pills, and an organization that sold tens of thousands of fake prescription pills. A Highland Park woman slept for 24 hours after taking what she thought was Xanex. It contained fentanyl, a powerful and deadly opioid often used in counterfeit versions of medicines such as oxycodone.

“Fentanyl is the drug that killed Prince, Tom Petty, and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs,” the magazine noted.

Prosecutors connected fentanyl sold by Bussell’s ring to two area overdose deaths.

Pintucci’s entry into the story comes through his friendship with Bussell’s daughter.

The teens met in middle school and remained friends even after his aunt Andrea Haag moved him out of Highland Park High to Evolution Academy in Richardson in hopes of getting more help with his ADHD.

Haag became his guardian after Pintucci’s mother died when he was 7.

Bussell’s daughter was in Pintucci’s white 2002 Lincoln sedan the night the 18-year-old was gunned down. They were waiting in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods in an empty parking garage at the Shops at Park Lane, where he planned to sell THC canisters, used for vaping, to students from Evolution. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound in marijuana that gets users high.

Pintucci may have been dealing for Bussell, or Bussell’s daughter may have taken the canisters without permission, according to D Magazine.

Security video showed three men arriving at the garage on Jan. 24, 2019. They used guns to take the canisters without paying, and then one fired into the car, hitting Pintucci.

Rene Eduardo Montanez, Jr., 24, was arrested two days later. Juan Antonio Cardenas, 19, one of Pintucci’s Evolution classmates, was arrested in December. Both face capital murder charges.

For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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