Two Receive Lengthy Federal Prison Sentences For Roles In Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring
LUBBOCK, Texas — Members of a three-person methamphetamine trafficking ring that operated in Lubbock, Texas, were sentenced this morning in federal court by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings. Two of the defendants, Michael Armenta, 19, and Fernando Valenzuela-Ceballos, 26, received lengthy federal prison sentences of 210 months and 262 months, respectively. Armenta’s wife, Kutleza Aurora Rodriguez, 19, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison. Armenta and Valenzuela-Ceballos will also be deported after they have served their federal sentence. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Armenta, aka “Alex,” and Valenzuela-Ceballos, aka “Gordo,” each pleaded guilty in November 2013 to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting. Rodriguez pleaded guilty at the same time to one count of misprision of a felony, admitting she allowed them to use her bag to conceal methamphetamine.
On September 2, 2013, officers with the Lubbock Police Department, who were investigating Armenta and Valenzuela-Ceballos for methamphetamine trafficking, executed a search warrant at a residence on 47th Street in Lubbock where they, along with Rodriguez, lived. Rodriguez was home at the time of the search. During the execution of the warrant, law enforcement found seven pounds of methamphetamine, 13 empty one-pound wrappings that appeared to have contained pound quantities of methamphetamine, drug ledgers, packaging materials, scales, approximately $16,000 in cash and two firearms.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Lubbock Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Cunningham prosecuted.