News Release
February 7, 2006

Texas Men Sentenced for Possession, Intent to Distribute 4,000 Pounds of Marijuana

FEB 7 -- SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI: Preston L. Grubbs, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division Office, and Todd P. Graves, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two El Paso, Texas, men have been sentenced in federal court after being convicted by a jury of being in possession with intent to distribute more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana.

Gustavo T. Luna , 49, and Pablo S. Marquez , 49, both of El Paso, were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Monday. Luna was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Marquez was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Luna received a longer sentence, Graves explained, due to his prior felony conviction for drug trafficking. The court also ordered Luna and Marquez to forfeit to the government $2,723 that was seized by law enforcement officers on July 23, 2005, and was derived from the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.

On October 26, 2005, Luna and Marquez were found guilty after a three-day trial of possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana on July 23, 2005, in Greene County, Missouri.

Luna and Marquez were originally arrested on July 23, 2005, when their 1996 Freightliner (being driven by Marquez ) pulling a 1989 Dorsey trailer was stopped for a commercial motor vehicle compliance check on Interstate 44 in Greene County. At the time of the vehicle check, law enforcement officers discovered 250 bundles of marijuana wrapped in cellophane, Graves said. The total weight of the marijuana was approximately 4,100 pounds, Graves said, with a street value over $5 million.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Requests for additional information should be directed to Group Supervisor Alan Wilson or Public Information Officer Special Agent Shirley Armstead at 314-538-4600.