Malas Manas Transnational Criminal Organization Leadership Indicted on Charges of Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking
TUCSON, Ariz. – Devonte Okeith Mathis, 24, of Mesquite, Texas, pleaded guilty yesterday to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2023, before United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez.
On October 4, 2021, Mathis and his co-conspirator were traveling together aboard an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona, when his co-conspirator shot and killed Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Michael Garbo aboard the train. His co-conspirator also shot and injured a second DEA Special Agent and a DEA Task Force Officer. The co-conspirator died on the scene. Mathis admitted, in pleading guilty, that he knew that his co-conspirator possessed two handguns. He also admitted that it was reasonably foreseeable that his co-conspirator would possess the firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking conspiracy, and that he would carry and use the two handguns during and in relation to their drug trafficking conspiracy.
“Yesterday was an important step in securing justice on behalf of a federal law enforcement agent,” said United States Attorney Gary Restaino. “We await the sentencing in this matter. In the meantime, we celebrate Michael Garbo’s life of service, we mourn with his family and his colleagues at the Drug Enforcement Administration, and we remember his end of watch on October 4, 2021.”
A conviction for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana carries a maximum penalty of a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. A conviction for Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, to run consecutive to all other counts, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: CR-21-2714-TUC-RM-MSA
RELEASE NUMBER: 2023-035_Mathis
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