News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2006

Operation Lucky Charm
Five Mexican Men Plead Guilty to Meth Conspiracy, Illegal Firearm

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI: Preston L. Grubbs, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division Office, and Todd P. Graves, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that five Mexican nationals pleaded guilty in federal court today, in two separate but related cases, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper County, MO, or illegally possessing a firearm.

Today’s convictions are the result of Operation Lucky Charm, a joint investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies into a large quantity of methamphetamine being distributed in southwest Missouri.

Carlos Mulgado, 37, Raul Alberto-Guerrero, 31, and Israel Sanchez-Mendosa, also known as Geronimo Velasquez-Gomez, 29, all citizens of Mexico residing in Carthage, MO, and Armando Figueroa-Dominguez, 31, a citizen of Mexico residing in of Rogers, Arkansas, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge James C. England today to charges contained in a September 22, 2005, federal indictment.

Isaac Alberto-Guerrero, 28, a citizen of Mexico living in Carthage, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge James C. England this morning to the charges contained in a separate federal indictment that was also returned on September 22, 2005, as a result of Operation Lucky Charm.

By pleading guilty today, Mulgado, Raul Alberto-Guerrero, Sanchez-Mendosa, and Figueroa-Dominguez admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine from August 4 to August 30, 2005, in Jasper County.

Raul Alberto-Guerrero admitted that he possessed more than 170 grams of pure methamphetamine in his residence and in a vehicle occupied by him and another person on August 11, 2005. Raul Alberto-Guerrero also admitted to facilitating drug transactions with local distributors. More than 150 grams of pure methamphetamine is directly attributable to Raul Alberto-Guerrero. On August 11, 2005, law enforcement officers seized from Raul Alberto-Guerrero $9,058, which was derived from the sale of methamphetamine and which has been administratively forfeited to the government.

Mulgado admitted that he assisted Raul Alberto-Guerrero in possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine for the organization on August 11, 2005. More than 150 grams of pure methamphetamine is directly attributable to Mulgado.

Sanchez-Mendosa also pleaded guilty to being in possession with the intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine on August. 11, 2005, in Jasper County. On August 11 and 12, 2005, law enforcement officers seized from Sanchez-Mendosa $12,369, which was derived from the sale of methamphetamine and which has been administratively forfeited to the government.

Figueroa-Dominguez also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting another person to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine on August 30, 2005, in Jasper County.

Co-defendant Noel Fonseca-Garcia, 21, a citizen of Mexico residing in Pittsburgh, Kansas, pleaded guilty on January 26, 2006, to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Fonseca-Garcia admitted that he assisted a co-defendant to deliver methamphetamine for the organization to an undercover law enforcement officer. More than 150 grams of pure methamphetamine is directly attributable to Fonseca-Garcia.

Under federal statutes, each of the co-defendants could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $4 million. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of pre-sentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

Isaac Alberto-Guerrero admitted that he was an illegal alien from Mexico while in possession of a Hi-Point Firearms 9 mm pistol and 44 rounds of ammunition on Aug. 17, 2005, at his residence in Carthage. Under federal law, Graves explained, it is illegal for anyone who is an alien unlawfully in the United States to be in possession of a firearm.

Under federal statutes, Isaac Alberto-Guerrero could be subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of pre-sentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Weber Dean. They were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Jasper County Drug Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Requests for additional information should be directed to Group Supervisor Alan Wilson or Public Information Officer Special Agent Shirley Armstead at 314-538-4600.