News Release
November 21, 2006

Two Mexico Nationals Sentenced for Meth Conspiracy
Defendants get 12 years combined for distributing meth in Jasper County, Missouri

NOV 21-- (SPRINGFIELD) – Preston Grubbs, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s St. Louis Division and Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Mexican nationals were sentenced in federal court for participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper County, Missouri.

The sentencing is the result of Operation Lucky Charm, a joint investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, into a large quantity of methamphetamine being distributed in southwest Missouri. Law enforcement officers seized nearly eight pounds of methamphetamine in the course of this investigation, which resulted in three separate indictments against 10 defendants.

Leobardo Alvarez-Rios , 33, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Aracely Vega , 28, of Rogers, Arkansas, both citizens of Mexico, were sentenced by United States District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan. Alvarez-Rios was sentenced to nine years in federal prison without parole. Vega was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison without parole.

On June 7, 2006, Alvarez-Rios pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from August 4 to 30, 2005, in Jasper County. On June 2, 2006, Vega pleaded guilty to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to the defendants is more than 500 grams but less than 1.5 kilograms.

T his case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Weber Dean. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Jasper County Drug Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.