News and Press Releases

Albertville Man Sentenced to Life on Methamphetamine Charges

October 7, 2011

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced an Albertville man to life in prison on drug distribution charges, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.

U.S. District Judge Virginia E. Hopkins sentenced JOAQUIN LARA JR., 30, on one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and two counts of distributing methamphetamine. A jury convicted Lara on those charges in May.

The FBI took Lara into federal custody on Feb. 4 on charges of conspiracy to distribute and distributing methamphetamine in Marshall and DeKalb Counties, according to Vance. Lara was charged in the conspiracy along with co-defendants Karen Aide Hernandez, Omar Franco Perez, Hector Favian Tafolla and Jashua DeLeon. All of the co-defendants pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and other related drug charges. They were sentenced separately.

“Methamphetamine is a plague on the Northern District of Alabama,” Vance said. “Its destructive effects are long-lasting. This sentence shows how dangerous the United States considers methamphetamine to be and how serious we are about prosecuting those who distribute it.”

“One more meth dealer behind bars means one less dealer putting drugs on our streets,” Maley said. “Mr. Lara will pay a heavy price for bringing this dangerously addictive drug to north Alabama, which hopefully will send a message to others involved in drug trafficking.”

The FBI and the Northeast Alabama Safe Streets Task Force, which includes members of the Albertville Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Marshall County Drug Task Force, and the Marshall County District Attorney’s Office, investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Hodge prosecuted the case.


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