When the squad cars pulled up to the Townes of Highland Park before daybreak, most residents were still asleep. A damp fog hung over the private drive that runs through the gated community of $800,000 townhomes off Lomo Alto Drive. A small army of law enforcement personnel took position: Dallas Police officers, FBI agents, and DEA investigators in black jackets with yellow letters across the back. A U.S. Marshals team wearing tactical vests and helmets fell into a phalanx and made its way toward unit 4205.
Unit 4205 had been under surveillance for months. Its occupant was a 50-year-old man named Gary Collin Bussell, whom neighbors had begun to regard as a nuisance. He was aggressive at community meetings and threw loud parties in the common areas. They watched strange characters coming and going from his townhome at all hours, often carrying thick manila envelopes or brown paper bags. His guests monopolized the few visitor parking spots and had the access code for a back gate that led to the parking lot of an adjacent Whole Foods. A few months earlier, the DEA, FBI, and Dallas Police had executed a search warrant at Bussell’s townhome, hauling off two Glock handguns, a shotgun, and evidence that he used the residence to store tens of thousands of dollars in real and counterfeit cash and counterfeit prescription pills.
Investigators had come to believe that Bussell was the linchpin of a drug trafficking operation. Now, on October 30, 2019, U.S. Marshals moved in to make the arrest. They pounded on the front door, and Bussell calmly answered it. He had slicked-back blond hair and a thin goatee, wearing jeans and a hoodie that covered his tattooed arms. He already had his sneakers on, as if he had been waiting for the officers to arrive. Bussell’s girlfriend, Lisa Young, a 32-year-old blonde, also seemed ready for her arrest. Bussell politely invited the armed officers into his home. His teenage daughter looked on as the U.S. Marshals arrested her father and Young. Then, as investigators combed the townhome, Bussell’s daughter headed to class at Highland Park High School. One officer told me, “It was like she couldn’t have cared less.”Read More