DEC 21 (PHOENIX) - On December 19, 2012, Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Phoenix Field Division and U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo announced that Francisco Alfredo Montes-Vargas, of Culiacan, Mexico, was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. A federal jury previously found Montes-Vargas guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
The evidence presented at trial showed that DEA special agents initiated an investigation of Montes-Vargas and his co-conspirators in November 2009. Based on electronic surveillance, agents learned that on December 11, 2009, Montes-Vargas and his co-conspirators arranged for the delivery of drugs to a house in Phoenix. Agents obtained a search warrant for the home and found two loaded semi-automatic handguns, one loaded semi-automatic rifle, 19 kilograms of cocaine, 11 kilograms of methamphetamine, and approximately $162,000 in U.S. currency. Additional surveillance on January 28, 2010, allowed agents to identify a car that was headed for Montes-Vargas and have that car stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8. That car contained another 9 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in a hidden compartment.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Phoenix and in Yuma, and by the United States Border Patrol. The prosecution was conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Morse Jr., and Assistant Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Simons, District of Arizona, Phoenix.