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March 30, 2018Amarillo, TX, United StatesNarcotics

Panhandle Texas man sentenced to nearly 18 years in federal prison for distributing methamphetamine

AMARILLO, Texas — A Panhandle Texas man was sentenced this week to 212 months in federal prison for distributing methamphetamine.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.  This case was investigated by the following agencies:  Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Texas Department of Public Safety, Amarillo Police Department; and the Texas sheriff’s offices of Potter County and Randall counties.

Jose Santillan, 25, of Amarillo, Texas, has been in custody since his arrest in April 2017.  Santillan was convicted in December 2017, following a three-day trial, on one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine.

According to evidence presented at trial, on Feb. 2, 2016, a Texas Department of Public Safety agent working in an undercover capacity arranged to purchase eight ounces of methamphetamine from Guadalupe Vargas-Mayorga.  Through surveillance and recorded telephone calls between the undercover agent and Vargas-Mayorga, law enforcement learned that Vargas-Mayorga obtained the eight ounces of methamphetamine from Jose Santillan and then delivered that methamphetamine to the undercover agent.  Laboratory results confirmed that Vargas-Mayorga and Santillan delivered 192 grams (almost seven ounces) of pure methamphetamine to the undercover agent on Feb. 2, 2016.  The evidence presented at trial also showed that Santillan had been supplying Vargas-Mayorga with methamphetamine for further distribution since about 2014.  Additionally, evidence presented at sentencing showed that Santillan was receiving large shipments of liquid methamphetamine from Mexico.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean Taylor and Joshua Frausto, and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Haag, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

Updated: 10/16/2018