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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lubbock Women Plead Guilty to Roles in Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy

LUBBOCK, Texas — Two women from Lubbock, Texas, Crystal Ann Alaniz and Arleen Theres Keithley, appeared yesterday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant Jr., and pleaded guilty to their roles in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Alaniz, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; she faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine.  Keithley, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; she faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.  Judge Bryant ordered a presentence investigation report for each defendant with sentencing dates to be set after the completion of those reports.

Co-defendant Jonathan Lovato, 33, of Lubbock, also pleaded guilty yesterday.  Last week, co-defendants Juan Carlos Lara-Ochoa, 24, and Jose Alberto Cibrian, 41, pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy.

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.  Two additional plastic bags, containing suspected methamphetamine were found in Keithley’s bra.  Two bundles of money, totaling nearly $2,000 were found in Keithley’s purse along with a digital scale that contained drug residue.  Keithley also had $2,500 in small bills on her person. 

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

The case is being investigated by the Lubbock Police Department, the Littlefield Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is in charge of the prosecution.        

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 8, 2016