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April 8, 2009

AREA METH DEALER SENTECED TO 30 YEARS IN FEDERAL PEN WITHOUT PAROLE

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – A Corpus Christi area methamphetamine dealer will be serving 30 years in federal prison without parole, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Gabriel Amador, 29, of Corpus Christi, convicted by a jury’s verdict in January 2009 of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamines and being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janice Graham Jack to 30 years imprisonment for the drug trafficking conviction and 20 years imprisonment – the maximum statutory penalty -- for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Amador has previously been convicted in state court for possessing methamphetamine and is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

During the January trial which resulted in the guilty verdicts, testimony and physical evidence was presented proving that Amador had been distributing methamphetamine in the Corpus Christi area from December 2007 until April 2008, the time of his arrest. In December 2007, Amador had been dealing methamphetamine from an area hotel when one of his dissatisfied customers returned to the hotel with a gun. A tip lead police to the hotel. A search of Amador’s room resulted in the seizure of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and Amador’s arrest and subsequent release on bond. 

Following his release, Amador met with an indicted co-defendant, who was also charged, pleaded guilty and testified at Amador’s trial. According to the co-defendant’s testimony, Amador claimed to have obtained his drugs from the “Mexican cartel” and frequently had pound quantities of methamphetamine in his possession. In April 2008, Amador and his co-defendant sought out one of Amador’s distributors who Amador believed had stolen some “product” (drugs) from him. Amador, described in testimony as a “loose cannon” stormed in to the alleged distributor’s house with the intent to collect the debt. Not finding the distributor at home, Amador instead threatened to shoot the distributor’s girlfriend unless she told him where the distributor could be found. Fortunately, no one was  hurt. However, at the time of this encounter members of the Safe Streets Task Force had the distributor’s house under surveillance. As Amador and his co-conspirator left the residence, officers followed and ultimately stopped Amador. During the stop, Corpus Christi police officers smelled marijuana in the car and found two guns and 141 grams of methamphetamine in the car.      

Amador’s sentence includes the court’s consideration of his use of dangerous weapons, his role as an organizer of drug trafficking activity and for the amount of drugs involved – almost one kilogram of methamphetamine.

In federal custody since his arrest, Amador will remain in custody and serve his sentence at a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

The Safe Streets Task Force, which consists of special agents of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as officers of the Corpus Christi Police Department, investigated the case leading to the federal charges. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hess.

 

 

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