AMARILLO, Texas — Three Mexican men, illegally present in the United States, were sentenced Monday following their guilty pleas in December 2016 to trafficking methamphetamine.
These sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from Amarillo Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater sentenced all three men to federal prison: Francisco Javier Gutierrez-Alvarez, 33, sentenced to 70 months, Octavio Cabrera-Mayorquin, 28, sentenced to 63 months, and Guillermo Urenda-Bustos, 31, sentenced to 46 months. All three defendants have been in custody since their arrest in October 2016. All three pleaded guilty in December 2016 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
All three defendants are Mexican citizens and were in the United States illegally at the time of the offenses. They will be deported after they serve their sentences.
According to documents filed in the case, on Oct. 6, 2016, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) made a traffic stop of a tractor-trailer (car hauler) for an obstructed license plate. During the course of the traffic stop, the officer noticed that the bill of lading regarding the shipment of a white Nissan Frontier was suspicious because it provided only general information. The officer asked the driver for consent to search the Nissan Frontier, and the driver granted consent to search the vehicle.
During the search, NMSP officers located 24 bundles of suspected methamphetamine concealed within the door panels. The bundles field tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine and had a gross weight of about 24.5 pounds.
The vehicle was being delivered to “Johnny” in Amarillo, Texas. Johnny was subsequently identified as Cabrera-Mayorquin.
On Oct. 7, 2016, HSI special agents in Amarillo and Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with assistance from other law enforcement agencies and the truck driver, who was not involved in the conspiracy, delivered the Nissan Frontier to the scheduled destination in Amarillo, Texas. The Nissan Frontier was unloaded from the trailer, and Cabrera-Mayorquin approached the driver and took custody of the Nissan Frontier. Cabrera-Mayorquin drove the Nissan Frontier to a nearby parking spot where it was left. Cabrera-Mayorquin entered a silver F-150 pickup and left the area. The driver of the F-150 was subsequently identified as Gutierrez-Alvarez and the back passenger was later identified as Urenda-Bustos.
A tow truck arrived and loaded the Nissan Frontier, and transported it to a residence and then left. Gutierrez-Alvarez, Cabrera-Mayorquin and Urenda-Bustos were observed arriving in the alleyway behind the residence. Cabrera-Mayorquin exited the F-150 and moved the Nissan Frontier to the backyard of the residence.
Amarillo Police Department conducted a traffic stop of the silver F-150 pickup for a traffic violation. All three subjects were transported to the Amarillo Drug Enforcement Administration office for further investigation.
Subsequent testing by the DEA South Central Laboratory confirmed that the substance in the vehicle contained methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, with an approximate weight of 10,351 grams (22.8 pounds), and had a purity level of 94 percent.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto, Northern District of Texas, was in charge of this prosecution.