Suspected gang member charged in meth conspiracy
HOUSTON – A 28-year-old Mexican citizen who illegally resided in Houston is set to appear in federal court on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute meth, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Eduardo Leon-Mata is a suspected member of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación. Today, he is set for an arraignment and detention hearing at 3 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Andrew M. Edison.
On. Nov. 13, authorities executed a search warrant at Boyd Street in Houston, according to the charges. Upon their arrival, Leon-Mata allegedly attempted to flee through a bedroom window and hide in a nearby backyard. They arrested him shortly thereafter.
The residence was allegedly operating as a clandestine drug laboratory for converting meth from liquid to crystalized form. The charges allege law enforcement seized loose material and packages totaling 86 kilograms – 54 and 32 kilograms, respectively, of a crystal-like substance and meth in liquid form.
The complaint alleges Leon-Mata had been smuggled into the United States approximately two weeks prior for the purpose of converting the meth.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as part of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric D. Smith is prosecuting the case.
OCDETF provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF program can be found HERE.