Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma have reported that a 29-year-old man has admitted to transporting significant quantities of methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border. The Mexican national entered guilty pleas to narcotics and weapons charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on July 1.
The man was apprehended in December 2018 following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tulsa Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation was coordinated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. When they searched the man’s apartment and rented storage space, officers and agents allegedly discovered two pounds of heroin, 17 pounds of methamphetamine and a number of firearms.
The man is said to have admitted to law enforcement that he carried seven handguns, four rifles and a shotgun when he transported drugs. During his plea hearing, the man admitted to possessing more than 500 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 1. The OCDETF was set up by the U.S. Department of Justice to coordinate law enforcement and intelligence resources to better combat drug trafficking and distribution. The group’s main focus in recent years has been Mexican drug cartels.
Individuals convicted of committing federal drug crimes face harsh mandatory minimum sentences, which is why defendants charged with narcotics trafficking and distribution often choose to enter into plea agreements. When representing clients in this predicament, experienced criminal defense attorneys may remind federal prosecutors of the risks involved in taking their cases to court and the unpredictability of juries. They might also point out mitigating factors such as cooperation with authorities and sincere remorse.
Source: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges, Press release, July 1, 2019