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Press Release

Meth Trafficker Sentenced to Life in Prison

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

An Amarillo drug trafficker was sentenced yesterday to life in prison for trafficking methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

In September 2023, after five days of trial, a federal jury convicted Mandis Charles Barrow, 45, of one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. He was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk.

According to evidence presented at trial, on February 18, 2021 a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle Mr. Barrow was driving. The officer conducting the traffic stop suspected there may be narcotics inside the vehicle and requested a canine officer. The canine alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, officers located $15,000 and a baggie of methamphetamine inside the glove box and a shoebox in the trunk that contained approximately 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine. Mr. Barrow was arrested following the search.  While in custody, Mr. Barrows made phone calls to a family member requesting evidence be removed from Barrow's residence.

In October 2022, a search of a residence in Amarillo was conducted and approximately 108 grams of fentanyl, 853 grams of cocaine, and 2,944 grams of methamphetamine were located in the kitchen area.  Mr. Barrow later admitted to dropping off the narcotics at that residence. 

According to evidence presented at trial, during an interview Mr. Barrow admitted to being involved in the distribution of large amounts of controlled substances, including, methamphetamine, cocaine, and pills containing fentanyl.

During sentencing, these facts were discussed at length and Judge Kacsmaryk stated that the life sentence for Mr. Barrow was based on the defendant’s long and violent criminal history starting when the defendant was 18.  The defendant’s first violent conviction, Aggravated Robbery, where the defendant robbed a man at gunpoint and forced the man into the man’s residence where Mandis took by force all of the man’s money (around $46).  The defendant also had a prior conviction for assaulting a man by pulling him from a vehicle and beating him, even when unconscious.  The defendant has two prior drug distribution convictions, one of those federal. Significantly, the Court stated that Mr. Barrow engaged in drug trafficking and violence his “whole adult life.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Marie Bell prosecuted the case.



Erin Dooley

Public Affairs Officer


Updated January 19, 2024

Drug Trafficking