News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Man pleads guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and possessing a firearm

July 30, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 25-year-old man pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Jose Alfredo Varela-Meraz, no known address, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 or more grams of methamphetamine and one count of using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. Varela-Meraz, who was indicted on March 19, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Judge Susan Richard Nelson.

In his plea agreement, Varela-Meraz admitted that from the fall of 2009 through April 20, 2011, he conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine. He also admitted that during the period of the conspiracy, he obtained quantities of methamphetamine from various sources in Minnesota, Arizona, and elsewhere. He then distributed it to mid-level dealers. On March 25, 2010, police arrested Varela-Meraz in Minneapolis. At that time, they also seized 1,131.3 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded nine-millimeter handgun.

For his crimes, Varela-Meraz faces a potential maximum penalty of life in federal prison for each offense. Judge Nelson will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol, and the police departments of Maplewood, Minneapolis, and Roseville. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

To learn more about the harmful effects of methamphetamine, visit















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