LUBBOCK, TX (PRESS RELEASE) - Six defendants have been charged in a federal indictment, unsealed this week, with felony offenses stemming from their role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Five defendants have made their initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock before U.S. Magistrate D. Gordon Bryant, Jr. and will remain in custody pending trial. One defendant remains a fugitive.
The nine-count indictment charges each of the following defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine:
Isaias Perez-Benito, 31, of Amarillo
Juan Rodriguez Galindo, aka “Johnny,” 42, of Amarillo
Corina Villalpando, 50, of Plainview
Dusty Lee Stowers, 29, of Friona
Mona Lesa Thomas, aka “Lisa,” 52, of Lubbock
In addition, each defendant is charged with additional substantive counts of distribution of methamphetamine. Perez-Benito was an illegal alien and unlawfully in the United States at the time of the offenses charged and is charged with an additional count of illegal alien in possession of firearms.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy count carries statutory penalties ranging from 5 years to life in federal prison and a $5 million to $10 million fine. The other substantive drug offenses carry similar penalties. If convicted of the firearm charge, Perez-Benito also faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Friona Police Department, and Plainview Police Department are in charge of the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is in charge of the prosecution.
(Press release from office of U.S. Attorney)
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