AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – An Amarillo methamphetamine trafficker was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
According to the announcement Bennie Jerome Baca, 34, pleaded guilty in August 2020 to distribution of methamphetamine. Last Thursday, he was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk.
“Mr. Baca and his co-conspirators ran a multi-state drug trafficking conspiracy that pumped large quantities of meth into communities all across Texas,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “This sentence demonstrates that the Department of Justice will use every weapon in its arsenal to stop meth from reaching our neighborhoods and harming our citizens.”
“Drug trafficking and the illegal activity associated with it continues to threaten the safety of the general public throughout our communities,” said Christopher Miller, Deputy Special Agent in Charge HSI Dallas. “One of our agency’s main priorities is to bring every resource we have at our disposal to keep individuals and criminal organizations that hinder public safety from profiting from its distribution. We remain committed to working with our state and federal law enforcement partners to keep illegal substances out of our communities and investigating those responsible.”
According to the announcement, on Oct. 8, 2019, a New Mexico State Police officer made a traffic stop of a car-hauler near Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the traffic stop, the police officer requested permission to search one of the cars on the hauler that lacked proper state registration. Law enforcement located approximately 21 bundles of methamphetamine concealed inside the vehicle. HSI agents determined that the driver of the car-hauler had no knowledge of the drugs and agreed to assist law enforcement.
The announcement continued to explain that on Oct. 9, 2019, the driver delivered the vehicle to its original destination in Amarillo, Texas. The driver called a phone number of the intended recipient of the vehicle, later identified as Mr. Baca, and arranged to meet him at a truck stop to deliver the vehicle.
Baca and a co-conspirator took possession of the vehicle and drove to a residence in Amarillo. Shortly thereafter, Baca was arrested, and law enforcement seized $3,050 in his possession. Baca admitted to knowing that the vehicle was loaded with methamphetamine and that a co-conspirator was going to distribute it.
Rusty Dean Campbell was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison in June 2020 and Sergio Chris Reyes was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in December 2020 for their roles in the methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.
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