News and Press Releases

Mexican National Sentenced To Life In Prison For Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

December 5, 2012

United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Voorhees sentenced Alejandro Salinas Garcia, 31, of Mexico, today to serve life in prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas; Greg McLeod, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI); North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement (NC ALE) Director John Ledford; Chief Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department; Sheriff Coy Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; Chief Donald G. Brown, II, of the Newton Police Department; Sheriff Phillip Redmond of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office; and Sheriff A.C. Stokes of the Davie County Sheriff’s Office.

Five other defendants have also been sentenced in connection with Operation “Tool Vault,” a multi-year investigation of a drug trafficking conspiracy involved in the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana in the Charlotte area:

• Kenneth Lee Travis, a/k/a “Blue,” 27, of Hickory, was sentenced in September 2012 to 210 months in prison, followed by six years of supervised release.

• Timothy Allen Grate, a/k/a “Chewey,” 38, of Manning, S.C., was sentenced in April 2010 to 121 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

• Mary Elizabeth Bailey Williams, 34, of Hickory, was sentenced in October 2010 to 108 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

• Anderson Contreras, 31, of formerly of Newton, N.C. was sentenced in February 2011 to 120 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

• Alberto Carranza-Flores, a/k/a Javier Campos Monte, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced on June 15, 2011, to 30 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

According to filed documents and court proceedings, the conspiracy lasted from 2002 to 2009, and involved importation of more than 600 kilograms of cocaine, in excess of one kilogram of crack cocaine, approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine, and more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana, primarily from Mexico through the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Court filings indicate that Garcia was the leader of the conspiracy and the local source of supply for the drug trafficking organization. Court records show that, among other things, Garcia used his co-defendants to distribute the narcotics. Garcia also used Travis to enforce and collect debts from customers.

The defendant has been in local federal custody since September 2009. He will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a facility. Federal sentences are served without parole.

The investigation was conducted by HSI, NC SBI, NC ALE, Hickory Police Department, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, the Newton Police Department, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, and the Davie County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman.




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