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Press Release

Three Charged in Conspiracy to Distribute More Than 28 Gallons of Liquid Methamphetamine

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – EDUARDO VILLA-ALVAREZ, 22, JOSE MANUEL SOTO-OCHOA, 22, and KRISTNADEVY MENDOZA-ZAMBRANO, 22, have been charged with conspiring to distribute 28 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and 55 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to a March 8, 2019, affidavit filed in federal court in support of a criminal complaint, law enforcement stopped a maroon Ford Escape with Oklahoma plates on March 7 south of Oklahoma City, between Purcell and Pauls Valley.  The vehicle had been the subject of a judicially-approved tracking device and was traveling from the area of Mesquite, Texas.  Defendant Mendoza-Zambrano is alleged to have been driving the vehicle.  According to the complaint, a search yielded approximately 77 liters (20 gallons) of liquid methamphetamine.

That same day, agents and officers with the DEA’s North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program ("HIDTA") executed a search warrant at a residence in south Oklahoma City.  According to the complaint, Villa-Alvarez and Soto-Ochoa were the only occupants of the residence.  Law enforcement is alleged to have observed Soto-Ochoa placing in the back of a black Ford Escape a box with baggies containing a white substance.  They also are alleged to have observed Villa-Alvarez and Soto-Ochoa using a broom and dust pan to sweep up a white substance.  According to the complaint, when investigators approached Villa-Alvarez, he attempted to flee and tossed a firearm near the back yard.  Investigators seized from the residence and the vehicle more than 25 kilograms (approximately 55 pounds) of a white crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine and more than 30 liters (approximately eight gallons) of suspected liquid methamphetamine.  The complaint states investigators believe Mendoza-Zambrano was working with Villa-Alvarez and Soto-Ochoa.

The complaint charges each defendant with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, as well as possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.  If convicted of either of these crimes, each defendant could be imprisoned for life and fined up to $10,000,000.  A conviction on either count would also result in a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison.

These charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, including the North Texas HIDTA, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the El Reno Police Department, and the District 21 Drug Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Anderson is prosecuting the case.

The public is reminded that these charges are merely allegations and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Reference is made to public filings for further information.

Updated March 11, 2019

Drug Trafficking