United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538
CELL: (409) 553-9881
GUILTY PLEAS HEARD IN TYLER FEDERAL COURT
TYLER, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that three individuals pleaded guilty to various federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
CHRISTINA JEAN ROSS, 28, of Gilmer, Texas admitted to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine today before United States Magistrate Judge John D. Love.
According to information presented in court, an ongoing investigation began in January 2003 into the distribution of methamphetamine in East Texas. The operation has resulted in numerous undercover purchases and seizures of both drugs and guns. A federal indictment was returned on February 6, 2007 charging 16 individuals, including Ross, with federal crimes.
Ross faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Gregg County District Attorney's Office, the Longview Police Department and the Gregg County CODE Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Moore.
OSCAR WADE SMITH, 37, of Harrison County, Texas, admitted to being involved in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and use and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
According to information presented in Court, Smith had been arrested on three separate occasions prior to the execution of a state search warrant. On each occasion, a handgun and controlled substances were found to be in Smith’s possession. A four-count federal indictment was returned by the Grand Jury in Tyler on May 1, 2007 charging Smith.
At sentencing, Smith faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million for the drug violation. Smith faces up to an additional 5 years for the firearm violation, and has agreed to forfeit several firearms. A sentencing date has not been set at this time.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Harrison County Sheriff's Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard L. Moore.
JESUS VELIZ-GARCIA, a 23-year old Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to being an a lien who was found unlawfully present in the United States after having been deported before today U.S. Magistrate Judith K. Guthrie.
According to evidence presented in court, o n June 12, 2007, Veliz-Garcia was incarcerated at the Gregg County Jail, at which time an investigation revealed he was a citizen of the Republic of Mexico and was illegally present in the United States. On August 5, 2000, Veliz-Garcia illegally entered the United States at El Paso, Texas from Mexico. On January 17, 2004, he was removed and deported from the United States to Mexico. On June 19, 2006, Veliz-Garcia again illegally entered the United States and traveled to Gregg County, Texas.
Veliz-Garcia faces up to two years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00 as well as deportation. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.
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