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Narcotics
04/17/2013

Ranking member of Mexican Mafia, who was a methamphetamine drug trafficker, sentenced in west Texas to 30 years in federal prison

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A ranking member of the Mexican Mafia was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Eric Cortez Flores, 32, was the Mexican Mafia's methamphetamine supplier from Lubbock to San Angelo, Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, in February 2011, special agents with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received information that a known narcotics trafficker would be traveling to San Angelo from Del Rio, Texas. This investigation revealed that this individual went to Eric Cortez Flores' residence on Montague in San Angelo. In addition, on several occasions, law enforcement officers encountered individuals with methamphetamine who were connected with Flores. They learned that Flores' mother's residence on Oaklawn in San Angelo reportedly served as a stash house for Flores' methamphetamine.

On Feb. 22, 2012, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Flores's residence. That search yielded: a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine residue, which was located next to the toilet; methamphetamine residue next to the toilet; about $96,000 in cash; a semi-automatic pistol; about 25 wrappings similar to those typically used to package large amounts of methamphetamine; and a suspected drug ledger.

In his guilty plea in November 2012, Flores admitted that he had flushed an ounce or less of methamphetamine down the toilet before law enforcement arrived. He also stated that he had about $70,000 in his house that was drug sales proceeds from the previous 18 months and that he'd distributed about one pound of methamphetamine every two weeks during that time period. He stated that his methamphetamine was from Mexico, but he refused to provide his supplier's name. Flores also stated that the wrappings found in his backyard and bedroom contained one pound of methamphetamine each. And he admitted that he knew the firearm was in his house.

This investigation was conducted by the following law enforcement agencies: HSI, the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office, and the San Angelo Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.