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Contraband
02/20/2014

Houston man sentenced to 14 years in prison for possessing methamphetamine

HOUSTON — A local man was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.

This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Office of Air and Marine, Houston Police Department, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

"Anyone contemplating trafficking in dangerous drugs should ask themselves if they are prepared to forfeit their freedom for years to come when caught," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. "This case is an excellent example of federal and local law enforcement agencies working together to keep our communities safe."

According to court records, Francisco Rodriguez, 22, negotiated a deal to sell methamphetamine to an undercover HSI special agent. On Nov. 9, 2012, Rodriguez met with the special agent at a Houston-area business parking lot to complete the transaction. Rodriguez, who had driven a pick-up truck to the meeting, pulled a backpack out of the truck's toolbox, opened it, and showed the undercover special agent several plastic containers.

According to court records, Rodriguez opened one of the containers which revealed a crystal-like substance, at which time he was arrested. The substance in the plastic containers tested positive for methamphetamine with 90 percent purity. The methamphetamine had a gross weight of 5.54 kilograms (12.2 pounds). Rodriguez pleaded guilty Feb. 13, 2013 to possessing more than five kilograms of methamphetamine.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who handed down the sentence Feb. 20, further ordered Rodriguez to serve five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term. He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard J. Magness, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).