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December 29, 2017Lubbock, TX, United StatesNarcotics

6 defendants plead guilty in West Texas to trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine

LUBBOCK, Texas — Six defendants charged in an indictment returned in November 2017 appeared in federal court this week and last week to plead guilty to their involvement in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in the Lubbock area.

These guilty pleas were announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.  The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating this case with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office; Lubbock Police Department; and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Alejandro Garcia-Izazaga, aka “Flaco” and “Alex,” 29; Anthony Wayne Reiley, aka “Tony,” 49; Ivan Cruz-Martinez, 37; and Zacarias Blanco-Olea, 45, each pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Each faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison, and a $10 million fine.

Ernesto Martinez Jr., 54, and Patricia Ann Hernandez-Salas, 48, each pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Each faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine.

A seventh defendant, Amanda Nicole Marney, 28, is scheduled to go to trial in February 2018.

Garcia-Izazaga, Reiley, Cruz-Martinez, and Blanco-Olea have been in custody on related criminal complaints since their arrest in October 2017.  Martinez and Hernandez-Salas have been in custody following their arrests in November 2017.  Sentencing dates will be set at a later date.

According to plea documents filed in the case, Garcia-Izazaga facilitated transporting pound-quantities of methamphetamine in Lubbock and other major cities in Texas.  On three separate occasions in the summer of 2017, Garcia-Izazaga offered to pay Reiley, Cruz-Martinez, and Blanco-Olea to transport large quantities of methamphetamine from other parts of the state to Lubbock.  On each occasion, the defendants were stopped by law enforcement for traffic violations.  Searches of the vehicles revealed large amounts of methamphetamine in hidden compartments.

Martinez Jr. and Hernandez-Salas each purchased and distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in the Lubbock, Texas area.

In total, law enforcement agents seized more than 15 pounds of methamphetamine and several firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.