June 06, 2013
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7000
Four Men Indicted In 75-Liter Methamphetamine Seizure
Hid liquid meth inside of vehicle gas tank
ATLANTA - - Gabriel Jimenez Antunez, Pablo Saucedo Aparicio, Martin Ascencio, and Javier Munoz Ruiz have been indicted on federal drug and money laundering charges for their roles in the delivery of liquid methamphetamine to a residence in Austell, Ga.
“Methamphetamine continues to ravage many communities in our nation,” said Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Because of the positive results yielded in this case, other methamphetamine traffickers in the Atlanta metropolitan and surrounding areas are being put on notice that DEA and its law enforcement partners will not tolerate their continued efforts to manufacture and distribute this insidious drug.”
“A seizure of this size reminds us that Atlanta continues to serve as a focal point for the distribution of methamphetamine,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Law enforcement agents in our community are doing a remarkable job tracking down and seizing drugs before they can be distributed into our communities.”
“The attack on money laundering is an essential front in the war on narcotics,” stated Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We are proud to have contributed our financial expertise in order to dismantle the drug-trafficking operation that has been targeting the metro Atlanta citizens.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In May 2013, DEA and IRS agents learned that Jimenez, a local distributor for a Mexican drug trafficking cartel, was coordinating the delivery of a shipment of liquid methamphetamine to the metro-Atlanta area and laundering the proceeds of that drug trafficking activity. In the early morning hours of May 12, 2013, agents tracked the delivery of liquid meth, made by Munoz using a Ford F-350 vehicle, to a residence in Austell, Ga.
Agents determined that the liquid methamphetamine was stored inside the truck’s gas tank, and observed Jimenez, assisted by Saucedo, arrive at the location with thermoses, which were to be used to transfer and store the liquid methamphetamine before it was further distributed. Ascencio was in the process of removing the gas tank containing approximately 75 liters of diesel fuel and liquid methamphetamine when agents arrested the defendants and seized the drugs. With assistance from agents at ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, agents executed search warrants at this and related residences, recovering another 10 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and other evidence.
The indictment charges the defendants: Antunez, a.k.a. “Negrito,” 39, of Mexico; Aparicio, 38, of Mexico; Ascencio, 49, of Mableton, Georgia.; and Ruiz, 54, of Fort Worth, Texas, with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, a charge that carries a sentence ranging potentially from 10 years to life. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the charging documents and evidence presented in court are only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case was investigated by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Laurel Boatright is prosecuting the case.The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.