A Texas man who was once one of the Lone Star State’s most-wanted fugitives has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possessing illegal drugs with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment was announced in an Aug. 26 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. The 34-year-old Mathis man was already in custody on related charges when the indictment was unsealed.
Investigators claim to find drugs and a gun
The man’s alleged illegal activities were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of Operation Triple Beam. The operation, which is a multi-agency effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement, was initiated to target gang members engaged in criminal activity on the Gulf Coast. He was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals Service deputies on June 26. When he was arrested, deputies claim that he was in possession of more than 350 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded semiautomatic Glock handgun. According to U.S. attorneys, the drugs were packaged for distribution and sale.
Man faces 50 years in prison
If he is convicted, the man could be sentenced to 40 years in a federal prison on the narcotics count and 10 years in federal prison on the gun charge. The drug count also carries a possible fine of up to $5 million. U.S. attorneys say that he will appear in court next on Sept. 2 in Corpus Christi.
Drug charges carry serious consequences
Narcotics cases like this one rarely go to trial. In most cases, individuals facing federal drug charges choose to plead guilty as part of a negotiated plea agreement. However, if the search that led to the discovery of illegal drugs may have violated rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, experienced criminal defense attorneys may suggest rejecting plea offers until a judge has heard arguments challenging the validity of the search.