34 suspects sentenced to combined 364 years for involvement in meth ring in Dimmitt

Married couple, who has worked with the Salvation Army in Texas for years, moves to Amarillo offices.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 12:26 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 2:44 PM CDT
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DIMMITT, Texas (KFDA) - 34 members of a methamphetamine ring that was operated in Dimmitt have been sentenced to a combined 364 years in federal prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the majority were charged in a 38-count federal indictment that was filed in February 2020, then arrested in March 2020.

48-year-old Denita Mirelez was the first defendant to plead guilty admitting she and a co-inspiratory sold several ounces of meth to an FBI informant.

She was later sentenced to 97 months in federal prison.

55-year-old Johnny Gilbert Lopez, also know as “Cannon,”, who also plead guilty, entered his plea 19 months later, on March 21, 2022.

He also admitted that he sold meth to an informant and was sentenced yesterday to 100 months in federal prison.

According to the release, the remaining defendants who pleaded guilty and were sentenced are as follows:

  • 60-year-old Jesus Garcia, aka “Don Chuy,”, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; sentenced on May 18, 2021 to 300 months in federal prison.
  • 50-year-old Noel Mandujano, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on July 20, 2021 to 360 months in federal prison.
  • 51-year-old Robert Vera, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 20, 2021 to 188 months in federal prison.
  • 41-year-old Osvaldo Cortez, aka “Lito,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on April 8, 2021 to 135 months in federal prison.
  • 45-year-old Gustavo Rincon, aka “Tavo,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Feb. 17, 2021 to 210 months in federal prison.
  • 48-year-old Ricky Dale Leavitt, aka “Big Rick,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on July 13, 2021 to 97 months in federal prison.
  • 32-year-old Tyler Martin Miller, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on July 7, 2021 to 120 months in federal prison.
  • 46-year-old Robert “Roberto” Flores, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on May 25, 2021 to 235 months in federal prison.
  • 48-year-old Michael “Mike” Diaz, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on June 2, 2021 to 120 months in federal prison.
  • 43-year-old Rigoberto Cuevas, aka “Rigo,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 26, 2021 to 188 months in federal prison.
  • 44-year-old Johnny Ortiz, aka “Johnny O,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Feb. 4, 2021 to 240 months in federal prison.
  • 36-year-old Kristina Renee Chaparro, aka “Yebra,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 28, 2021 to 132 months in federal prison.
  • 44-year-old Michael Reyes, aka “Rat,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on May 11, 2021 to 120 months in federal prison.
  • 44-year-old Juan Arturo Martinez, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Feb. 4, 2021 to 52 months in federal prison.
  • 39-year-old Steven Mendez, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 28, 2021 to 210 months in federal prison.
  • 39-year-old Frank “Frankie” Martinez, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Nov. 19, 2021 to 139 months in federal prison.
  • 35-year-old Ricardo Reyes, Jr., aka “Little Ricky,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 14, 2021 to 124 months in federal prison.
  • 39-year-old Roxanne Casas, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Feb. 4, 2021 to 51 months in federal prison.
  • 58-year-old Cruz Mendez Nunez, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on June 2, 2021 to 92 months in federal prison.
  • 35-year-old Christopher Allen Smith, aka “Smitty,” pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm; sentenced on Jan. 26, 2021 to 55 months in federal prison.
  • 45-year-old Juan Manuel Martinez, aka “Mitos,” pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Feb. 25, 2021 to 115 months in federal prison.
  • 24-year-old Melenie Arceo, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 26, 2021 to 108 months in federal prison.
  • 40-year-old Luis Alberto “Tito” Gonzalez, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm; sentenced on Feb. 17, 2021 to 77 months in federal prison.
  • 37-year-old Priscilla Kay Caballero, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a communications facility; sentenced on May 25, 2021 to 48 months in federal prison.
  • 34-year-old Susan Odette Stinnett, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a communications facility; sentenced on Feb. 4, 2021 to 48 months in federal prison.
  • 43-year-old John David Ramirez, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 12, 2021 to 33 months in federal prison.
  • 30-year-old Christian Daniel Cordova, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced to on Jan. 28, 2021 to 84 months in federal prison.
  • 42-year-old Ricardo Chavez, aka “KK,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 12, 2021 to 188 months in federal prison.
  • 41-year-old Servian Riojas, aka “Smokey,” pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on Jan. 20, 2021 to 151 months in federal prison.
  • 53-year-old Leonardo “Leo” Ortuno-Palacios, pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; sentenced on September 30, 2021 to 240 months in federal prison.

“This investigation was a massive undertaking and a true partnership between local, state and federal agencies. We dismantled the entire organization, from out-of-state leadership, to West Texas leaders, suppliers and distributors,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The collective sentences imposed on the dozens of defendants will have a lasting impact on the community as we continue to work to keep our communities free from the social, criminal and community health damages caused by methamphetamine.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office; the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division; the U.S. Marshals Service; Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division; ICE – Enforcement & Removal Operations; the Castro County Sheriff’s Office; the Hereford Police Department; Texas Department of Safety; the Amarillo Police Department; the Dimmitt Police Department; the Randall County Sheriff’s Office; the Lubbock Police Department; the Potter County Sheriff’s Office; the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office; and the Plainview Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is prosecuting the case.

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