Abernathy meth ring leader pleads guilty - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/10

Abernathy meth ring leader pleads guilty

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - An Abernathy man has pleaded guilty to his role as the leader in a major methamphetamine trafficking organization.

56-year-old Rolando Garcia Carrasco entered his plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Carrasco will also be required to forfeit residences in Abernathy and Littlefield, as well as eight vehicles.

A sentencing date will be set after the completion of the pre-sentence report.

In a DEA-led takedown on December 1, 2009, Carrasco and several others were arrested on charges outlined in two indictments. Those indictments charged a total of ten defendants with cocaine/methamphetamine trafficking and some with substantive drug and/or firearm charges. In addition to the arrests, law enforcement officers executed several search warrants at various locations that resulted in the seizure of additional quantities of cocaine, drug trafficking paraphernalia, firearms, and U.S. currency.

One indictment charged Carrasco and seven co-defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of cocaine, alleging that the defendants ran their conspiracy since January 2006. All of the defendants were also charged with various substantive cocaine and/or methamphetamine counts and one defendant, Rene Zuniga, is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. With the exception of Zuniga, all have pleaded guilty to their role in the methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.

In the other indictment, Davey Roland Burks, Jr., 37 and Ricky Reyes, 35, were each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Burks and Reyes have both pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy.

According to plea documents filed in Carrasco's case, the DEA began investigating Carrasco in January 2006 for narcotics trafficking. On February 1, 2007, a confidential source (CS) acting at the direction of the DEA, made a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Rolando Carrasco at the Chili's on University Avenue in Lubbock, Texas. The next month, on February 1, 2007, the CS, again acting at the direction of the DEA, made another controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Carrasco at River Smith's on 5th Street in Lubbock. Other controlled purchases were made by the CS on April 4, 2007; June 20, 2007; June 21, 2007; and in October and November 2009.

The case is being investigated by the DEA and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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