Illegal Alien Sentenced to Life in Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking and Firearm Convictions
Las Vegas, Nev. – An illegal alien who was twice before convicted of drug trafficking in California was sentenced today to life imprisonment for his federal convictions for trafficking in methamphetamine and unlawfully possessing a firearm, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Martin Alvarez-Rodriquez, aka Delfino Sotelo-Ortega, 28, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro. Alvarez-Rodriquez was convicted by a Las Vegas jury on November 6, 2008, of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm. Under federal law, a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is mandatory for an individual who is convicted of selling 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and who has two prior felony drug convictions.
In May 2006, Alvarez-Rodriquez and Francisco Michel were arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents in a restaurant parking lot in Las Vegas after they made arrangements to sell four ounces of methamphetamine to an undercover officer. Officers recovered 116 grams of methamphetamine from a cooler in the truck Alvarez-Rodriquez was driving. Based on this information and prior surveillance of Alvarez-Rodriquez, a search warrant was then obtained for Alvarez-Rodriquez' apartment at 450 E. Twain in Las Vegas. Law enforcement officers recovered from the apartment an additional 896 grams of methamphetamine which had a purity level of 99%, materials and chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine, approximately $5,900 in cash, seven scales, and a 40-caliber handgun. Law enforcement officers also determined that Alvarez-Rodriguez was an illegal alien and that he had two prior felony drug convictions in California.
Co-defendant Francisco Michel pleaded guilty in federal court to Possession of Methamphetamine With the Intent to Distribute, and was sentenced on July 13, 2007, to 37 months in prison.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kishan Nair and Jeffrey Tao.