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Press Release

Georgia Inmate Sentenced to 15 Years on Federal Methamphetamine Charge

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

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Abel Gallegos Hernandez, an inmate serving prison time in Georgia, who coordinated the distribution of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine using drug packages hidden in tires of vehicles being shipped from New Mexico to Virginia, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court to 180 months in federal prison. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva for HSI’s Washington, D.C. field office announced the sentence today.

Hernandez, 30, pleaded guilty in June 2020 to one count of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of aiding and abetting another’s attempt to knowingly and intentionally possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, in June 2018, while incarcerated in the Bureau of Prisons in Georgia, Hernandez was actively involved in the trafficking of virtually pure methamphetamine into the Western District of Virginia.  

Using Facebook and a contraband cellphone from inside McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia, Hernandez arranged for the delivery of four separate shipments of methamphetamine from New Mexico to the Waynesboro area. The shipments, occurring between January and June of 2018, totaled nearly 30 kilograms of pure methamphetamine. Hernandez arranged for the drugs to be hidden inside the tires of vehicles being hauled on tractor-trailer car-haulers.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, Waynesboro Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber prosecuted the case for the United States.  

Updated April 12, 2021