Houston, Texas — Two men from the South Texas area have pleaded guilty to trafficking approximately five kilograms of methamphetamine in Houston in May 2013, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Roberto Carlos Garza, 23, and Alexander Chavez, 34, both of Rio Grande City, each pleaded guilty earlier today to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine before U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes.
At the hearing, both Garza and Chavez admitted to having set up a methamphetamine transaction between themselves and other persons on May 17, 2013, for approximately 22 pounds of methamphetamine at a price of $15,000 per pound. The following day, Garza and Chavez each agreed to bring the drugs to a parking lot near the Houstonian Hotel in Houston and deliver it to another person.
At approximately 12:58 p.m. on May 18, 2013, agents observed a gray Honda CR-V arrive at the location driven by Chavez with Garza riding as a passenger. Shortly after arrival, and while they were still in the vehicle, agents attempted to take Garza and Chavez into custody. Identifying themselves as law enforcement officers and wearing law enforcement identification, agents ordered them out of the vehicle. Chavez attempted to flee, driving in reverse and striking another vehicle, then driving forward and accelerating rapidly towards two agents who were on foot.
Fearing for his life, one of the agents fired two rounds from his service weapon toward Chavez while attempting to move out of the way and avoid being hit. The agent believed Chavez was attempting to run him over and had no choice but to fire his weapon toward the vehicle to avoid being run over and possibly killed. The rounds appeared to strike Chavez, and the CR-V veered to the side, struck two other vehicles and came to a stop.
Garza was then taken into custody and Chavez was treated at the scene until an ambulance arrived and transported him to a hospital for treatment. Agents subsequently seized three plastic containers containing methamphetamine from the rear area of the Honda CR-V. The methamphetamine had a net weight of 4.946 kilograms, was 90.1% pure and had been imported into the United States from Mexico.
Judge Hughes has set sentencing for Feb. 25, 2013, at which time they each face at least 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. They have been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.