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Press Release

Houstonian imprisoned for distributing kilos of meth for Gulf Cartel

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

HOUSTON – A 61-year-old U.S. citizen has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute kilos of crystal meth, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Carlos Rodriguez-Gayton pleaded guilty Nov. 8, 2022.

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Rodriguez-Gayton to a total of 168 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the defense asked for a lower sentence based, in part, on their position he held a minor role in the conspiracy. However, the court noted that working in concert with a cartel to conduct four drug deals of a kilogram or more is not minor.

Rodriguez-Gayton’s arrest and ultimate conviction stems from an investigation into individuals affiliated with the Gulf Cartel operating in Houston.

From October 2020 through January 2021, Rodriguez-Gayton sold approximately three kilos of crystal meth over the course of multiple transactions that occurred in Houston. The investigation further revealed that on Jan. 21, 2021, another individual purchased an additional two kilos of crystal meth from Rodriguez-Gayton.

Law enforcement was able to take all drugs into their possession before they could hit the streets of Houston.

Rodriguez-Gayton has 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, FBI, Houston Police Department, Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office conducted this investigation as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shelley J. Sullivan prosecuted the case.

These such cooperative matters provide for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The specific mission of the DEA Strike Force is to identify and prosecute all members of narcotics trafficking organizations. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.

Updated June 27, 2023

Drug Trafficking