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Contraband
11/16/2012

Houston man charged with possessing 12 pounds of methamphetamine

HOUSTON — A local resident was arrested and charged Friday with possessing a gross weight of more than five kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air Unit, Houston Police Department, and Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Francisco Rodriguez, 21, was arrested Nov. 9 in Houston. Following a Nov. 15 hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacey ordered him detained pending further criminal proceedings.

According to court documents, a drug deal to purchase methamphetamine was negotiated between Rodriguez and undercover HSI special agents. On Nov. 9, Rodriguez met with an undercover HSI special agent in a Houston-area business parking lot to purchase methamphetamine.

Rodriguez allegedly pulled a backpack out of the toolbox of the truck that he had driven to the meeting, opened it and showed the special agent several plastic containers. According to the complaint, Rodriguez opened one of the containers and revealed a crystal-like substance to the undercover special agent. Subsequently, a bust signal was given to the awaiting law enforcement in the area and Rodriguez was arrested. The crystal substance was field tested and gave a positive reaction for the presence of methamphetamine, the complaint states. The gross weight was 5.54 kilograms (12.3 pounds).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard J. Magness, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.