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Press Release

Federal Judge Sentences Two Methamphetamine Traffickers To 17.5 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. handed down 17.5-year prison sentences to Rene Garcia, Jr., 43, of Laredo, Texas, and Jose Luis Ramirez, Jr., 45, of Concord, North Carolina, for trafficking methamphetamine, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison terms imposed, both defendants were ordered to serve 10 years under court supervision upon completion of their prison terms.

U.S. Attorney King is joined in making today’s announcement by Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, Chief Michael Hudgins of the Pineville Police Department, and Chief Kevin Black of the Cornelius Police Department.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearings, on August 19, 2020, law enforcement learned that Garcia and Ramirez were trafficking narcotics in the Charlotte area. Law enforcement investigating the case recovered from the defendants’ hotel room more than 230 grams of methamphetamine the pair had accidentally left behind after checking out of the hotel. Court records show that law enforcement arrested Garcia and Ramirez when the men returned to the hotel to recover the drugs from the room. At the time of the arrest, law enforcement recovered from Ramirez a loaded firearm and a large amount of cash, and from Garcia more drugs and cash. Law enforcement seized from the defendants’ truck a second loaded firearm, two magazines containing ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and fake identification cards. Law enforcement also determined that the truck Garcia and Ramirez were driving had been reported as stolen.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that, within the previous 30 days, the pair had trafficked approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine in the Charlotte area.

In handing down today’s sentences, the Court took into consideration Garcia’s and Ramirez’s extensive prior drug trafficking and felony convictions. At the time of the offense, Garcia was on supervised release after he previously served more than 10 years in prison on federal racketeering conspiracy and firearms offenses for his affiliation with a cartel assassination squad.

Both Garcia and Ramirez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting. They are currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

The DEA, the Pineville Police Department, and the Cornelius Police Department handled the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stoutt, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated February 18, 2022

Drug Trafficking