Defendants Sentenced for Roles in Distributing Large Amounts of Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release

Two defendants, who pleaded guilty to their respective roles in distributing large quantities of methamphetamine in Amarillo, Texas, were sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.

Benigno Paez, 29, was sentenced to a total of 248 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in August 2017 to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Co-conspirator Eliazar Rocha, 35, also pleaded guilty in August 2017 to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison.

Judge Fitzwater ordered Paez and Rocha to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on January 9, 2018.

According to the plea agreement factual resumes filed for both defendants, on April 30, 2017, Rocha, Paez and two other codefendants met with undercover officers to deliver six pounds of methamphetamine in exchange for $5,500 per pound. Rocha exited a vehicle, driven by Paez, to deliver the methamphetamine at which time officers indicated they did not have the money with them. When Rocha returned to the vehicle officers arrested the four defendants. Officers located 2,622 grams of methamphetamine in the vehicle and a stolen firearm.

Agents learned that the methamphetamine came from a residence in Amarillo, Texas. A search warrant was executed at the residence and law enforcement located an additional 1,846 grams of methamphetamine.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto was in charge of the prosecution.

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