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Aug. 10, 2011

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Former LPD Officer’s Co-conspirator Sentenced to Prison

LAREDO, Texas – The drug trafficker who conspired with a former Laredo Police officer to distribute cocaine has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge George P. Kazen sentenced Guillermo Villarreal, 36, of Laredo, Texas, to 120 months in federal prison during a hearing this morning for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Villarreal was convicted in February 2010 after pleading guilty to conspiring with former Laredo Police Department Officer Pedro Martinez III to commit the drug trafficking offense. Martinez introduced Villarreal to another person who lived close to Villarreal, knowing Villarreal intended to make arrangements to store cocaine in a portion of other person’s residence. Villarreal sold cocaine in quantities of a quarter kilogram (approximately 250 grams) to a government source at his residence for $4,000 on Dec. 2, 2008, and again on Feb. 5, 2009. Before each sale, Villarreal retrieved the cocaine from the storage facility at the nearby residence, owned by the person Villarreal met through Martinez.

On Sept. 29, 2009, investigating agents executed a search warrant at Villarreal’s residence and at the storage facility. From the storage facility, agents seized approximately three kilograms of cocaine, a metal press used to press cocaine into kilogram-size bricks, plus other narcotics trafficking paraphernalia such as scales, a blender and plastic wrap.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kazen ordered Villarreal to pay a $6,000 fine and to serve a five-year-term of supervised release upon completion of the prison term. Villarreal, who had been on bond until today, was remanded into the custody of the United States Marshals Service immediately following today’s hearing to begin serving his sentence.

Martinez, also charged and convicted for his part in the conspiracy was sentenced last week by Judge Kazen to 78 months imprisonment.

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations in cooperation with the Laredo Police Department. Former Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Sheldon and Assistant United States Attorneys Roberto F. Ramirez and James McAlister prosecuted the case.