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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Houma Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in Fresno-Based Methamphetamine Distribution Ring

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MANUEL OMAR MINJAREZ, age 27, of Houma, pled guilty today to charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and having methamphetamine mailed to him from a Fresno, California.

According to court documents, this case arose out of an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking that was being conducted by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) in Fresno during the summer of 2014.  In July 2014, agents learned that members of a Fresno-based methamphetamine trafficking organization were mailing methamphetamine to a drug dealer in Houma.  DEA agents and Postal Inspectors in Fresno coordinated with their counterparts in the New Orleans offices for the DEA and the USPIS to further investigate the Houma-based arm of this drug conspiracy.  On July 18, 2014, postal Inspectors in Houma subsequently intercepted a package containing almost one pound of methamphetamine.  With the assistance of the Louisiana State Police and the Terrebonne Narcotics Task Force, DEA agents and US Postal Inspectors determined that MINJAREZ was the intended recipient of the package.

As the investigation continued, DEA agents learned in July 2014, that MINJAREZ requested more methamphetamine to be mailed from the Fresno cell of this drug trafficking conspiracy.  USPS Postal Inspectors also determined that on July 10, 2014, MINJAREZ had received another package of methamphetamine that weighed approximately one pound and eleven ounces.  On July 30, 2014, MINJAREZ was arrested by a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper in Sutton County, Texas.  Through the assistance of Texas state authorities, MINJAREZ was removed to federal custody to face the federal indictment in New Orleans to which he pleaded guilty today.

MINJAREZ pleaded guilty as charged to all three counts of the indictment.  As to Count 1, conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, MINJAREZ faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment, a $10,000,00 fine, and at least five years of supervised release.  Count 2 and Count 3 charged MINJAREZ with the use of a phone and the mail in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy.  As to Counts 2 and 3, MINJAREZ faces a maximum of four years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to one year of supervised release.  U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle set sentencing for September 23, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the coordinated investigation between the Fresno offices for the DEA and USPIS, the DEA New Orleans Office, the USPIS New Orleans Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Terrebonne Narcotics Task Force in investigating this matter.  U.S. Attorney Polite extended his thanks to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, theTexas Department of Public Safety, the Sutton County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office for the Texas 112th Judicial District, and the DEA Office in Del Rio, Texas, for their assistance in prosecuting this case.  Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew R. Payne and Theodore R. Carter, III, are in charge of the prosecution.

Manuel Omar Minjarez Factual Basis (1.77 MB)

Updated September 2, 2015