In what is believed to be Michigan’s largest methamphetamine seizure at an estimated value of nearly $500,000, five men were indicted and have now been convicted on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute. Four of the men pleaded guilty of the charge prior to trial, while one went before a federal jury and was found guilty.
It all unfolded last summer when a confidential informant revealed to U.S. Department Homeland Security that a substantial amount of “ice,” or crystal meth, was being sold in southwestern Michigan, specifically Van Buren County according to a news article at Mlive.com. Investigators were informed that Alejandro Garcia had five pounds of the crystal meth, and that he was trying to sell it for $23,000 per pound. Ultimately, police seized over 20 pounds of pure meth after buying the “ice” undercover on several occasions; the methamphetamine was seized from a pole bar located in Van Buren County and a vehicle.
According to a criminal complaint written by special agent Thomas Schifini, the informant said that Garcia had told him the meth was being sold by Sierra-Villegas after being smuggled into the country via hidden compartments in vehicles.
The five men involved include 39-year-old Jose Sierra-Villegas of Kansas City, who was convicted by a federal jury. The four who pled guilty prior to going to trial include Brent Kellerman, 25, and Jon Jeannin Jr., 33, both of Kansas City, Thomas Streich, 59, of Lawton, and Alejandro Garcia, 45, of Grand Junction.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute life behind bars. While four of the men are in custody awaiting sentencing, Alejandro Garcia was sentenced to nine years in prison recently.
Michigan drug possession attorneys know that individuals convicted of possession with intent to deliver certain substances classified as schedule one or two (including methamphetamines) typically face 20 years to life in prison, along with fines ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000. Essentially, the convicted individual’s life is forever changed, often ruined.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a serious drug offense, it is critical that you contact a capable and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer immediately in order to secure the best possible outcome.