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Three Members of Mexican Cartel Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy Involving Liquid Methamphetamine

JAN 06 (ATLANTA) - Three drug traffickers have been sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine stemming from their roles in the delivery of liquid methamphetamine to residences in Austell, Ga., and Mableton, Ga.

“Methamphetamine continues to ravage many communities in our nation,” said John S. Comer, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Because of the positive results yielded in this case, other methamphetamine traffickers in the Atlanta metropolitan and surrounding areas are being put on notice that DEA and its law enforcement partners will not tolerate their continued efforts to manufacture and distribute this insidious drug.”

“Over a period of many months, these defendants shipped liquid methamphetamine to Atlanta from the Mexican border and then distributed it throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Given that law enforcement seized record amounts of methamphetamine at the Mexican border in 2014, this case reflects both a disturbing trend in trafficking methamphetamine produced in Mexico and our efforts to disrupt this trend.”

“The attack on money laundering is an essential front in the war on narcotics,” stated Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “We are proud to have contributed our financial expertise in order to dismantle the drug-trafficking operation that has been targeting the metro Atlanta citizens.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In October 2012, DEA and IRS agents were investigating Gabriel Jimenez-Antunez, a known local distributor for a Mexican drug trafficking cartel, who was coordinating the delivery of shipments of liquid methamphetamine to the metro-Atlanta area and laundering the proceeds of that drug trafficking activity to Mexico.  In early spring 2013, agents learned that Jimenez recruited his brother-in-law, Pablo Saucedo Aparicio, and associate Martin Ascencio, to carry out the day-to-day activities of the organization, including receiving methamphetamine shipments from couriers at residences in Mableton, Ga. and depositing drug proceeds at local banks.   

In the early morning hours of May 12, 2013, agents tracked the delivery of liquid methamphetamine to a residence in Austell, Ga.  Agents determined that the liquid methamphetamine was stored inside the gas tank of a Ford F-350 vehicle.  That evening agents observed Jimenez, assisted by Saucedo, arrive at the residence with thermoses, which were to be used to transfer and store the liquid methamphetamine before it was further distributed.  Ascencio was in the process of removing the gas tank containing approximately 75 liters of diesel fuel and liquid methamphetamine when agents arrested the defendants and seized the drugs.  Agents executed search warrants at this and related residences, recovering another ten pounds of crystal methamphetamine and other evidence.

Three defendants, who pleaded guilty in 2014, have been sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans:

  • Gabriel Jimenez-Antunez, a.k.a. “Negrito,” 39, of Mexico, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
  • Pablo Saucedo-Aparicio, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
  • Martin Ascencio, 49, of Mableton, Ga., was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, with valuable assistance provided by agents at ICE-Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant United States Attorney Laurel R. Boatright prosecuted the case.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.


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