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Narcotics
11/03/2017

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Drug trafficking leader sentenced in West Texas to more than 10 years in federal prison

LUBBOCK, Texas — The leader of a West Texas drug trafficking organization was sentenced Friday to more than 10 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

The DTO leader and six other suspects — mostly from the Lubbock, Texas, area — were arrested in May 2017 during a joint operation led by the following agencies: Texas Department of Public Safety, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Levelland (Texas) Police Department, the Cochran County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as the New Mexico State Police Tactical Team, Roosevelt County (New Mexico) Sheriff’s Office, and the Region V Metro Drug Task Force, based in New Mexico.

Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings sentenced Leopoldo Herrera-Gandara, aka “Polo,” 33 of Arch, New Mexico, to 121 months in federal prison. Herrera-Gandara pleaded guilty in August to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Of the seven defendants who were indicted, five have been convicted and sentenced. The charges were dismissed against one of the defendants following his guilty plea to related state charges. The remaining defendant, Arcadio Ornelas Jr., aka “Junior,” 36, of Morton, Texas, is scheduled to begin trial Dec. 4. The below four defendants received the following sentences:

  • Johnathan Navarrette Garza, aka “Johnny,” 27, of Morton, Texas, was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Jorge Andres Nunez-Saenz, aka “Tucan,” 51, of Levelland, Texas, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Raul Jose Hernandez, aka “RJ,” 35, of Morton, Texas, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Nancy Cecilia Martinez, 37, of Levelland, Texas, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison. She pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/06/2017