March 30, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Brothers Sentenced To Federal Prison For Possessing Synthetic Cannabinoids
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Two brothers have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of possession with intent to distribute a synthetic cannabinoid mixture or substance, announced DEA Special Agent-in-Charge of the Houston Division, Joseph M. Arabit and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Roy Valent Jr., 31, and Arnold Ray Valent, 29, both of Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty January 4, 2017.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack sentenced Roy Valent to serve 66 months in federal prison. His brother was determined to be a career offender and received a 110-month-term of imprisonment on March 15, 2017. At that hearing, a Drug Enforcement (DEA) expert witness provided additional testimony including how the DEA handles newly emerging synthetic narcotics, the adverse effects of those substance and imminent hazards they present to public safety. In handing down the sentence, the court acknowledged the significant danger of synthetic narcotics, specifically their appeal to children. Both men will also serve three years of supervised release following completion of their sentences.
On Dec. 16, 2015, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle leaving a residence, at which time Arnold Valent exited the vehicle and fled on foot. He was taken into custody after a short pursuit and officers discovered a backpack in the vehicle that contained 35 packages of synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “K2” or “Spice.”
When officers returned to the residence, they observed Roy Valent in a garage apartment with a firearm. Prohibited from possessing such, officers arrested him and also discovered 19 additional packages of synthetic cannabinoids. Laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of scheduled substances, AB-CHMINACA and XLR-11, and 5F-AMB, 5F-MDMB-PINACA, NM-2201, FUB-AMB, AB-CHMICA and PX-1 which are controlled under the Controlled Substance Analog Act.
The arrests and investigation were part of Operation City Shield that was a coordinated effort by federal, state and local law enforcement to identify violent offenders, stop gun violence and protect the community.
The Valent brothers will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration and Corpus Christi Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt prosecuted the case.