News Release
Date: January 17, 2012
Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson
Public Information Officer Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson,
Number: 713-693-3000

Convicted Drug Dealer Receives 16+ Years

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Ricardo Pena Jr. has been sentenced to federal prison for distributing approximately 125 grams of methamphetamine, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos this afternoon sentenced Pena to 200 months in prison to be followed by eight years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 20, 2011.

The charge stems from an investigation by DEA and the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) who learned that Pena, a 31-year-old from Corpus Christi, had been distributing methamphetamine and crack cocaine in the Corpus Christi area.

On June 9, 2011, CCPD obtained an arrest warrant for Pena. After stopping Pena while driving his Ford Explorer, officers discovered an ounce of cocaine that Pena attempted to conceal from officers. After searching Pena’s residence, officers found an additional two ounces of cocaine and approximately $45,000 in cash and sought to search a room Pena was renting. Although Pena denied renting the room, the lease was confirmed by his employer, who rented the room to Pena. Following the search, officers found approximately 200 grams of cocaine, 15 grams of crack cocaine and 97 grams of methamphetamine in addition to scales and baggies. At the impound lot the next day, officers found another 13 grams of crack cocaine and 27 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside the Explorer’s gas cap.

At the time of his arrest, Pena was on supervised release for possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Pena was ordered to serve an additional 27 months for violating the terms of his supervised release which will run concurrent with his conviction on the drug charge.

Pena has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.