News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2008
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell

PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Multi-State Heroin Distributor Sentenced to 235 Months in Prison

AUG 25 -- Memphis, TN - Lawrence J. Laurenzi , Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentencing of EDGAR ANTONIO GARCIA SANCHEZ, 20, of Shelby County in US District Court. SANCHEZ was sentenced by Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla, who imposed a total sentence of 235 months in prison. SANCHEZ was sentenced to 19 ½ years for conspiracy to distribute over one kilogram of Heroin and the unlawful employment or use of a person under 18 years of age in a drug operation.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) stated, "DEA wants to send a clear message, in that when you make a conscious effort to deal drugs, you will be brought to justice. This heroin distributor was driven by greed and power. Today he stands powerless and will spend well-deserved time in prison. This case would not have been possible without the high level of cooperation between our law enforcement counterparts."

"Mr. Sanchez's sentence of 19 1/2 years is appropriate based upon his criminal conduct," said Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. "Conduct such as Mr. Sanchez's, which included the distribution of heroin throughout the mid-south and to recovering addicts at methadone clinics, will not be tolerated. People like Mr. Sanchez who peddle their illegal drugs will serve hard jail time.

SANCHEZ pled guilty on November 1, 2007. The evidence at sentencing showed that SANCHEZ conspired with others coconspirators to distribute heroin in the vicinity of Summer and Jackson Avenues area in Shelby County, Tennessee. The proof showed that SANCHEZ was directing the operations of a major drug trafficking organization, which also involved other family members in Mexico who where smuggling heroin to various locations in the United States to include: Memphis, Nashville, North Carolina, South Carolina and elsewhere. SANCHEZ's role in the offense was to direct the distribution of the heroin to customers by using minors, also from Mexico. SANCHEZ was also found in possession of a firearm in the furtherance of the drug trafficking which resulted in a penalty enhancement.

The investigation was handled by the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Task Force, which includes the following agencies: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, the Millington Police Department, the Germantown Police Department, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the United States Marshal's Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Kitchen handled the case for the Government.

SAC Benson of the DEA AFD encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com and www.dea.gov

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