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Press Release

Federal Jury in Waco Convicts California Drug Courier for Attempting to Transport Approximately 21 Pounds of Methamphetamine to Waco

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

In Waco this afternoon, a federal jury convicted 27–year-old Francisco Resendez Martinez of Gonzales, CA, for attempting to deliver approximately 21 pounds of methamphetamine from California to Waco, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple, Houston Field Division.

Jurors convicted Martinez of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  Evidence presented during trial revealed that for more than a year and a half, DEA agents were investigating a drug trafficking operation led by 38-year-old Waco resident Johnny Casillas.  On February 26, 2018, California Highway Patrol deputies stopped a vehicle on I-40 in San Bernardino, CA, being driven by the defendant.  Upon searching the vehicle, authorities discovered the methamphetamine contained in 23 packages inside a suitcase.

Following the verdict, Judge Albright remanded Martinez to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  Martinez faces between ten years and life in federal prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for May in front of U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright in Waco.

Jurors today acquitted Martinez’s co-defendant, 55-year-old Los Angeles area resident Patricia Ferrer, of the drug conspiracy charge.  Casillas and another co-defendant, 42-year-old Veronica Real of Hesperia, CA, are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to the drug conspiracy charge—Casillas, on May 8, 2018, and Real, on December 18, 2018.  Sentencing for Casillas and Real is scheduled for 9:30am on February 25, 2020, before Judge Albright.  Like Martinez, Casillas and Real face between ten years and life in federal prison.

The DEA, together with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Riverside County (CA) Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Border Patrol investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Smith-Burris is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years

Updated January 24, 2020

Topic
Drug Trafficking