News Release
November 16, 2006

Jury Convicts Mexican National Of Distributing Heroin

NOV 16 -- McALLEN, Texas – A jury has convicted Antonio Gomez, 50 of Michoacan, Mexico, of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin, U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today. The jury’s verdict was returned late Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006, after a two-day trial.

The jury heard testimony that proved that on May 8, 2006, DEA agents coordinated a meeting with the defendant to purchase heroin. Surveillance was established at a pizza restaurant in Mission, Texas, where Gomez, along with the co-defendant Luis Soto-Lopez, met with an undercover agent. At the conclusion of the meeting, Soto handed the undercover agent a container with over 1.5 kilograms of heroin. In return, the undercover agent gave $500 to Gomez as good-will money.

On May 12, 2006, DEA agents once again set up a meeting to purchase more heroin from Gomez. The undercover agent made contact with Gomez who sent two other individuals to meet the agent. During the second meeting, over 1.5 kilograms of heroin was transferred to the undercover agent. In return, the agent gave $4,000 for the heroin as down payment.

On August 1, 2006, the undercover agent once again arranged for a meeting with Gomez, where he was subsequently arrested.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who presided over the trial, set sentencing for Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007. Gomez faces imprisonment of 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.

This investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis.

# # #