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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Distributing Methamphetamine

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

SAN ANTONIO – A Mexican national was sentenced last week to 300 months in prison for his role in distributing methamphetamine in the San Antonio area.

According to court documents, on April 7, 2020, a search warrant was executed at the residence of Roberto Ignacio Sanchez Benitez, 51.  During the search, commercial amounts of methamphetamine were located to include an ice chest with about 25 pounds of methamphetamine.  Agents also recovered a firearm and over $30,000 in cash. Law enforcement officers learned that Benitez claimed to be a “witch doctor” and allegedly sacrificed goats for protection.  

On January 19, 2022, Benitez pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  By pleading guilty, Benitez admitted he illegally distributed methamphetamine.  Benitez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on April 7, 2020.

“Benitez peddled poison on a large scale in our San Antonio community,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “I am proud of the federal prosecution of this case and I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their hard work and dedication to public safety.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is steadfast in our commitment to take individuals who illegally possess firearms off our streets,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred J. Milanowski, Houston Field Division.  “We will continue to diligently work to hold those who violate federal firearms laws accountable.”

“The arrest, and subsequent conviction, of this offender is the culmination of months of hard work by the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), South Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the ATF. Our commitment to keeping San Antonio safe is unwavering,” said SAPD Chief William McManus. “Every day, our officers remain dedicated to our community and its safety.”

The ATF, SAPD and HIDTA investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Ella Spears prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.  Anonymous tips involving gang crime and wanted fugitives can be submitted at www.stopsanantoniogangs.org.

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Updated September 15, 2022

Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods