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High-ranking Mexican Mafia boss pleads guilty to federal drug charges in Lubbock

April 30, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
High-ranking Mexican Mafia boss pleads guilty to federal drug charges in Lubbock

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A 41-year-old man who officers in Lubbock, Texas believe is a high-ranking Mexican Mafia member, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges on Thursday in connection with a multi-agency probe conducted earlier this year.

Thomas Vasquez Jr., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant during a re-arraignment to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute or possession with intent to distribute meth, Lubbockonline reported.

On Wednesday, his co-defendant, 39-year-old Steven George Montez, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute or possession with intent to distribute 50 grams of meth.

Vasquez confessed to conspiring with Montez to distribute meth. Law enforcement officials believe Vasquez provided Montez with the drugs to distribute in Lubbock. The investigation was a collaborative effort between the DEA and the Midland and Lubbock police departments.

An informant working with police reached out to Montez in March to purchase 5 ounces of meth for $3,000.

Montez and the informant planned to meet at a Home Depot and authorities apprehended him when he arrived.

The Mexican Mafia boss in the hub city pleaded guilty to federal drug charges

A search of Montez and his car revealed evidence including a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and approximately 171 grams of meth.

A second informant named Vasquez as Montez’s meth supplier and arranged to buy drugs from Vasquez on March 7th. According to a warrant, a Lubbock County sheriff’s investigator named Vasquez as a top shot-caller within the ranks of the Mexican Mafia in Lubbock.

The Texas Mexican Mafia is categorized as a tier one gang with a membership of 4,700, a 2015 Texas Department of Public Safety gang report indicated. The report states that the group originated in the Texas prison system as a means for predominantly Hispanic prisoners to protect themselves but grew “into one of the most dominant and disciplined gangs in Texas.”

The informant went to Vasquez’s residence while detectives watched outside in an unmarked car. Investigators saw Vasquez leave and come back where he sold the informant roughly 143 grams of meth.

The informant went back the next day and bought 152 grams of the drug.

Investigators secured a search warrant. A search of one home yielded evidence including about 120 grams of meth and a .45 semi-automatic pistol. A search of a second residence revealed two clear plastic bags with meth residue and two guns.

Vasquez is in custody at the Lubbock County Detention Center and faces up to 20 years behind bars. Montez is facing between 5 and 40 years in prison.

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