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Press Release

Lubbock Methamphetamine Traffickers Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

LUBBOCK — Two Lubbock residents who pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy charges were sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Jonathan Lovato, 34, was sentenced to two 480-month sentences in federal prison, to run concurrently, and Crystal Ann Alaniz, 33, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. Each pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting. Lovato pleaded guilty to an additional charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting.

Co-defendants Arleen Theres Keithley, 36, Juan Carlos Lara-Ochoa, 24, and Jose Alberto Cibrian, 41, pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.


According to the factual resume filed in the case, on March 17, 2016, officers with the Lubbock Police Department conducted an undercover narcotics purchase from a hotel room in Lubbock and were watching the room to monitor traffic to and from the location while a search warrant was obtained. During this surveillance, officers saw the main target of the investigation, Lovato, arrive in a silver sedan and begin to take items from the hotel room. Lovato attempted to leave the hotel in his vehicle and, when officers tried to detain him, he sped away. He evaded officers for several blocks, driving in excess of the speed limit, against oncoming traffic, and through several traffic-controlled intersections without observing the traffic signals. Lovato’s vehicle was stopped when he struck several other vehicles as he drove against oncoming traffic into a busy street intersection. One of the individuals in a vehicle he struck sustained life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.


As officers approached Lovato’s vehicle, they discovered he had a 9mm caliber pistol in his waistband. A package containing a substance, later verified as 118.13 grams of methamphetamine, was found in the glove box and five cell phones were found throughout the vehicle. Lovato admitted he possessed the firearm and admitted to selling methamphetamine.


According to documents filed in the case, on April 30, 2016, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) stopped a vehicle in Lubbock for traffic violations. Keithley was the driver; Alaniz was the passenger. Keithley was arrested for driving with an invalid license, and Alaniz, who had several outstanding warrants, was also placed under arrest.


Both Keithley and Alaniz were placed in the trooper’s vehicle. The in-car video recording system captured Keithley maneuver her hands—while handcuffed—to her left breast area and force a substance in a plastic bag out of her bra. Keithley then used her teeth to remove the item from her bra and toss it to the back seat area where Alaniz was seated. Alaniz hid the item in her pants. Both women were transported to the Lubbock County Detention Center. When asked if either was in possession of any contraband, Alaniz initially stated, “no,” before admitting “I have stuff on me.” Alaniz was searched and two plastic bags containing suspected methamphetamine were found in her pants. Alaniz was also in possession of two plastic bags that contained several smaller plastic bags with markings consistent with narcotics trafficking.


The Texas DPS Crime Lab determined that the suspected methamphetamine was in fact methamphetamine, and it weighed a total of 54.93 grams.


The Lubbock Police Department, the Littlefield Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long prosecuted.


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Updated February 23, 2017

Drug Trafficking