Six defendants pleaded guilty in a Lubbock federal court to charges of smuggling large quantities of methamphetamine. The group was indicted in November 2017.
Court documents revealed that 29-year-old Alejandro Garcia-Izazaga, aka “Flaco” and “Alex,” transported pound quantities of methamphetamine to Lubbock and other cities in Texas. On at least three occasions during the summer of 2017, he offered to pay three other co-defendants to bring large quantities of the drugs from other parts of Texas to Lubbock, according to information obtained from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Garcia-Izazaga pleaded guilty, along with co-defendants Anthony Wayne Reiley, aka “Tony,” 49; Ivan Cruz-Martinez, 37; and Zacarias Blanco-Olea, 45, to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Following sentencing, the defendants can face between 10 years to life in prison. They can also be fined up to $10 million.
Two other co-defendants, Ernesto Martinez Jr., 54, and Patricia Ann Hernandez-Salas, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The penalty for these defendants ranges from five to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.
Martinez and Hernandez-Salas purchased the methamphetamine and re-sold it in the Lubbock area.
Amanda Nicole Marney, 28, has not pleaded guilty. She elected to stand trial beginning in February.
Law enforcement officers became aware of the smuggling ring after routine traffic stops. Officers discovered the methamphetamine in hidden compartments after given permission to search the vehicles.
Police seized more than 15 pounds of the drug along with several firearms, court records note.
ICE officials worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Lubbock Police Department to secure the arrests.
The sentencing hearings for the convicted defendants have not yet been scheduled.