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Federal Indictment Charges Six in Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy

MAR 08 (LUBBOCK, Texas) - Six defendants have been charged in a federal indictment with felony offenses stemming from their role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.  The indictment, which was unsealed this week, was announced jointly by Clyde E. Shelley Jr., Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Dallas Division and U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Five defendants have made their initial appearance in federal court in Lubbock before U.S. Magistrate D. Gordon Bryant, Jr. and will remain in custody pending trial. One defendant remains a fugitive.

The nine-count indictment charges each of the following defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine:

Isaias Perez-Benito, 31, of Amarillo, Texas
Juan Rodriguez Galindo, aka “Johnny,” 42, of Amarillo, Texas
Corina Villalpando, 50, of Plainview, Texas
Dusty Lee Stowers, 29, of Friona, Texas
Mona Lesa Thomas, aka “Lisa,” 52, of Lubbock

In addition, each defendant is charged with additional substantive counts of distribution of methamphetamine.  Perez-Benito was an illegal alien and unlawfully in the United States at the time of the offenses charged and is charged with an additional count of illegal alien in possession of firearms.

A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.  If convicted, however, the conspiracy count carries statutory penalties ranging from 5 years to life in federal prison and a $5 million to $10 million fine.  The other substantive drug offenses carry similar penalties.  If convicted of the firearm charge, Perez-Benito also faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Friona Police Department, and Plainview Police Department are in charge of the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is in charge of the prosecution.

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