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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ocala Illegal Alien Sentenced To 17 Years In Prison For Federal Drug, Gun, And Immigration Crimes

Ocala, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore today sentenced Gilberto Astudillo Carbajal (34, Ocala) to 17 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, illegal re-entry into the United States after a prior deportation or removal, and possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. Astudillo Carbajal had pleaded guilty on February 1, 2018. 

According to court documents, on May 24, 2017, in a parking lot in Ocala, Carbajal’s co-defendant, Simon Rodriguez-Flores (48, Ocala), sold a cooperating witness approximately 4 ounces of crystal methamphetamine. On June 2, 2017, at the same location, Rodriguez-Flores delivered 2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine to the same cooperating witness and was arrested by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The agents also detained Tirso Hernandez-Astudillo (35, Ocala), who was a passenger in Rodriguez’s car.

Immediately after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at a residence on in Ocala that Hernandez-Astudillo shared with Carbajal. Upon entering the home, law enforcement officers observed Carbajal backing away from the front door and reaching backwards toward a kitchen counter. On the counter, officers discovered a loaded 9 mm pistol, which was later determined to belong to Carbajal. Also recovered from the home were items used in the manufacture and packaging of crystal methamphetamine.

From another residence across the street, where Hernandez-Astudillo had been observed earlier in the day, agents recovered a suspicious package containing approximately one kilogram of an undetermined powdery substance, later analyzed and determined to contain fentanyl.

According to court records, Carbajal also previously had been convicted for illegally reentering the United States at the time of his arrest on June 2, 2017. Carbajal was a citizen of Mexico and was in the United States illegally. He had been deported and removed from the United States to Mexico on three prior occasions.

On May 24, 2018, Sr. Judge Whittemore sentenced Tirso Hernandez-Astudillo (35, Ocala) to 20 years in federal prison following guilty verdicts by a federal jury on felony drug charges. On the same date, Simon Rodriguez-Flores (48, Ocala) was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for his role in the drug conspiracy. Rodriguez-Flores and Hernandez-Astudillo were also in the United States illegally.

This case was investigated by the Gainesville Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by task force officers from the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocala Police Department, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The Marion County Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team assisted in the execution of the search warrant and the arrests. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated July 30, 2018