Methamphetamine Distributors Plead Guilty
One Faces up to Life in Federal Prison
LUBBOCK, Texas — Two Littlefield, Texas, men, Juan Carlos Lara-Ochoa and Jose Alberto Cibrian, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant Jr. to their roles in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Lara-Ochoa, 24, admitted that on June 1, 2016, he possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He faces a statutory sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a $10 million fine. Cibrian, 41, admitted that on March 4, 2016, he possessed with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. He faces a maximum statutory sentence 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.
Three additional defendants charged in the case, Jonathan Lovato, 33, Arleen Theres Keithley, 36, and Crystal Ann Alaniz, 32, are scheduled to enter guilty pleas on Monday, November 7, 2016.
According to documents filed in court, on June 1, 2016, officers with the Lubbock Police Department learned that Lara-Ochoa would be delivering about two pounds of methamphetamine to Christopher Paul Andrade in Lubbock. Law enforcement set up surveillance and followed Lara-Ochoa from Littlefield, Texas to the La Michoacana grocery on Clovis Highway in Lubbock. Lara-Ochoa parked in the grocery store’s parking lot, and a short time later, Andrade arrived and parked next to him. Andrade got into the front passenger seat of Lara-Ochoa’s vehicle, stayed for less than one minute, and then exited that vehicle, returning to his. Law enforcement followed Andrade as he drove out of the parking lot, and after a brief pursuit, detained Andrade and found approximately 444 grams of methamphetamine that he had attempted to discard during the pursuit. Andrade pleaded guilty in August 2016 to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2, 2016, by Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings.
Law enforcement observed Lara-Ochoa depart the parking lot and return to Littlefield, where they arrested him. They obtained a search warrant for his vehicle and located a hidden compartment under the front passenger’s seat that contained two separate packages of methamphetamine, weighing a total of 2,230 grams. One of those was packaged exactly the same as the methamphetamine Andrade had discarded. Officers also obtained a search warrant for Lara-Ochoa’s storage unit and found an additional 1,782 grams of methamphetamine and five firearms.
On March 4, 2016, officers with the Littlefield Police Department learned of a suspicious vehicle at a nearby RV park. Upon arrival, officers found Jose Alberto Cibrian passed out in the driver’s seat of that vehicle, with the engine running and the gear shift in the drive position. After removing him from the vehicle, officers found a plastic bag containing methamphetamine in the center console, a methamphetamine pipe, a digital scale and a firearm in a bag in the backseat. Cibrian admitted he had recently purchased the methamphetamine and the firearm.
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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