Illegal Alien Found Guilty of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Cocaine Trafficking
Memphis, TN – After a three-day trial, and jurors having deliberated less than 40 minutes, a federal jury found Carlos Landeros-Salcedo, 26, guilty of prohibited person (alien) in possession of a firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the guilty verdict today.
According to information presented in court, on March 29, 2016, Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit detectives were called to a residence regarding a drug complaint. The homeowner and the defendant were informed of the complaint. The homeowner gave verbal and written consent for law enforcement to search the residence.
The defendant informed officers that he had a gun and powder in his bedroom. He then showed officers his room where a gray Tanfoglio 10mm caliber pistol on the defendant’s bed was in plain view. The firearm was loaded with approximately 10 rounds of ammunition.
Additionally, detectives recovered 21 small bags containing powder cocaine inside a jar in a dresser drawer, an assortment of baggies and a black digital scale. The defendant provided a written statement admitting to possession of the drugs.
In May of 2016, when federal agents interviewed the defendant, he admitted to being a citizen of Mexico and illegally present in the United States.
After being indicted in September 2016 on federal charges, the defendant avoided capture until August 2019. At the time of his arrest, the defendant was in possession of fake immigration documents.
Sentencing is set for May 22, 2020, before U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman, where the defendant faces up to ten years imprisonment for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and up to twenty years imprisonment for possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute. Additionally, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of at least five years imprisonment for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He also faces possible deportation after completion of his sentence of confinement.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Criminal aliens not only threaten the sovereignty of our nation, but also threaten the safety of our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has prioritized and renewed our commitment to immigration enforcement, and this case demonstrates our focus on those violent and dangerous criminal aliens who continue to violate our laws after illegal entry. We commend the outstanding investigative work of HSI and ICE in this case."
The Department of Homeland Security Investigations-Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marques Young is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.