AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Three men were sentenced Monday by Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in October of 2016.
Francisco Gutierrez-Alvarez was given 70 months, Octavio Cabrera-Mayorquin 63 months, and Guillermo Urenda-Bustos was given 46 months, all in federal prison.
All three defendants are Mexican citizens and were in the United States illegally at the time of the offense. They will be deported after serving their sentence.
According to documents filed in the case, on October 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 of the vehicle, NMSP officers say they 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 approximately 24.5 pounds.
The vehicle was being delivered to "Johnny" in Amarillo, Texas. "Johnny" was subsequently identified as Cabrera-Mayorquin.
On October 7, 2016, Homeland Security Investigation Amarillo and Homeland Security Investigation Albuquerque, along with the 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 approached the driver and took custody of the Nissan Frontier. Cabrera drove the Nissan Frontier to a nearby parking spot where it was left. Cabrera 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. The tow truck transported the Nissan Frontier to a residence and then left. Gutierrez, Cabrera, and Urenda-Bustos were observed arriving in the alleyway behind the residence. Cabrera exited the F- 150 and moved the Nissan Frontier to the backyard of the residence.
The 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, and had a purity level of 94 percent.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigation, with assistance from Amarillo Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto was in charge of the prosecution.