News and Press Releases

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Sept. 17, 2009


(McALLEN, Texas) – Jose Luis Cantu, 49, of McAllen, Texas, a fugitive from justice for 10 years, has been convicted and sentenced to 60 months in prison to be followed by a four-year-term of supervised release for conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.  
In August 1998, an indictment was returned in the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, charging Cantu and six others with a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. All other defendants were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and in West Palm Beach, Fla., except Cantu. All of Cantu’s co-defendants either pleaded guilty or were found guilty after a jury trial in 1999 and were subsequently sentenced to prison for terms ranging from 16 to 70 months.   

In March 2009, Cantu was arrested in Fayette County, Texas, on these outstanding federal charges after a routine background check revealed the outstanding federal arrest warrant. In July of this year, Cantu pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana before United States District Judge Randy Crane. Cantu was sentenced late Wednesday, Sept. 16 to 60 months federal custody. Agents with the former United States Customs Service which has since been re-designated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) preserved the evidence over the years during which Cantu was a fugitive in hopes of bringing the case to a complete conclusion.

Cantu has been held without bond since his arrest and will serve his 60-month sentence in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.

This case was investigated ICE and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terry L. Leonard.



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