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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Monday, February 10, 2014

Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison On Firearm Charges

Defendant Shot and Killed Man During Drug Transaction

DALLAS — Jose Inez Zapata, 33, of Dallas, was sentenced this morning, by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey, to 240 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in August 2013 to two federal felony firearm charges, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Specifically, Zapata pleaded guilty to one count of using and discharging a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On April 4, 2011, Zapata met “R.J.” at an apartment complex parking lot in Dallas to conduct a 30-pound marijuana transaction.  Zapata shot and killed “R.J.” and then fled the location.

Then, on January 11, 2012, an officer with the Mesquite Police Department executed a traffic stop on a Ford truck that had been reported stolen a few days earlier from Baylor Hospital.  Zapata, the driver of the truck, initially slowed down, but then led police on a high-speed chase, at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, which lasted several minutes.  Zapata eventually stopped the truck and fled on foot, running across Highway 80.  Zapata charged the officer and attempted to take weapons from the officer’s gunbelt, but he was eventually handcuffed and arrested.  Two firearms were located in the truck along with several other stolen items and counterfeit U.S. currency.  Zapata was a convicted felon, having felony convictions in Dallas County for aggravated robbery and aggravated assault on a public servant.

The case was investigated by the Dallas Police Department, the Mesquite Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Secret Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce prosecuted.

Updated June 22, 2015