TUCSON, Ariz. — A Mexican national was sentenced Jan. 22 to 11 years in prison and five years of supervised released for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI investigated the case.
“Anyone contemplating importing dangerous drugs like methamphetamine should further ask themselves if they are prepared to spend a considerable amount of time in federal prison for their actions,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Fransisco B. Burrola. “Special agents with HSI are committed to working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and subsequently bring to justice those involved in trafficking in dangerous contraband.”
The judge ordered Jesus Hector Lagarda-Gil, 45, of Mexico, to forfeit a 2018 Mazda CX5 automobile and $148,000 in U.S. currency. Lagarda-Gil pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on Sept. 21, 2023.
A co-defendant, Jesus Omar Encincas-Burruel, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release on Dec. 1, 2023.
Lagarda-Gil negotiated and coordinated the delivery of over 300 pounds of methamphetamine to undercover agents during a four-month period in 2022. On March 29, 2022, Lagarda-Gil met with an undercover agent in Las Vegas, Nevada, and personally delivered 45 pounds of methamphetamine to the agent after receiving it from Encincas-Burruel. In June 2022, Lagarda-Gil traveled to Las Vegas again and delivered another 61 pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover agent. On July 1, 2022, Lagarda-Gil was arrested after delivering 217 pounds of methamphetamine to agents.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multiagency approach. You can find additional information about the OCDETF program at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona in Tucson prosecuted the case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.