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Press Release

Armed drug traffickers head to prison

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

McALLEN, Texas – Two men will now serve substantial prison sentences for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Jose Guadalupe Lopez, 41, Weslaco, pleaded guilty in October 2020.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane imposed a 67-month sentence to be followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard how Lopez had a prior federal drug trafficking conviction for marijuana and that he had now advanced to kilogram quantities of meth. In handing down the sentence, the court held Lopez responsible for the co-defendant’s firearms, noting that guns and drugs are tools of the trade.

Johnathan Ivan Torres, 22, Mercedes, also had pleaded guilty and was sentenced in January also to 120 months in prison. At that time, the court found Torres was in possession of two firearms in connection with his distribution of approximately 6.5 kilograms of meth. 

Beginning in May 2019, law enforcement discovered Torres was a source of supply for meth in Hidalgo County. The investigation revealed Lopez and Torres had been communicating and actively discussing the sale and distribution of the narcotics. Authorities ultimately discovered both men in possession of several kilograms of meth.

An additional search of the location where Torres had been residing yielded an additional half a kilogram of meth and two firearms in close proximity to the drugs. 

The investigation revealed the meth had been imported from Mexico with a 98% purity level.

Both have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandra Andrade and Matthew Redavid prosecuted the case.

Updated June 15, 2021

Drug Trafficking