Group Sent To Prison for Attempted Meth Distribution
LAREDO, TX (STL.News) Three Texas residents have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of conspiracy to transport 30.1 kilograms of pure meth, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Jose Ramon Garcia, 41, and Jorge Armando Lozano, 39, both of Hebbronville, pleaded guilty July 16, 2020, while Rolando Cadena 46, Laredo, pleaded guilty Aug. 14, 2020.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña ordered Cadena to serve a 235-month-term of imprisonment, while Garcia and Lozano received respective terms of 97 and 135 months. They each must also serve five years of supervised release after their term of imprisonment.
In handing down the sentence, the court noted that all three were not young men with poor judgment or drug addictions, but instead had good jobs with no reason to participate in narcotics smuggling. At the hearing, Cadena claimed he had been coerced into pleading guilty and completely denied involvement in the crime. Judge Saldaña reviewed the evidence and said she had “no doubt” he was guilty.
The investigation revealed Cadena, Garcia and Lozano had been discussing the transportation of meth. Ultimately, Lozano coordinated the transfer of 22 bundles of meth from Cadena to Garcia in Laredo.
Garcia then traveled east towards Hebbronville. Authorities subsequently stopped him for a traffic violation near Oilton. At that time, Garcia admitted he was transporting narcotics to Dallas and indicated where they were hidden inside of his vehicle.
Previously released on bond, Cadena was taken into custody following the sentencing today where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Lozano and Garcia were permitted to voluntarily surrender in the near future.
Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Webb County Constables Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Harrison and April Ayers-Perez prosecuted the case.