McALLEN, Texas – Two illegal aliens who
resided in Texas have been ordered to federal prison following their
convictions of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced
Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Mexican national Johnathan Ricardo Alvarez,
24, and El Salvadorian national Melvin Noel Vasquez, 33, who resided in Mission
and Houston, respectively, pleaded guilty May 31, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela
Alvarez ordered Alvarez to serve a 200-month sentence, while Vasquez received a
147-month term of imprisonment. At the hearing, additional testimony was
presented establishing that the methamphetamine was imported from Mexico in a
liquid form and converted into crystalized methamphetamine at an apartment in
Harris County for further distribution. In handing down the sentence,
Judge Alvarez noted the defendants had a choice not to involve themselves in
drug trafficking but chose to anyway without consideration of the harm to the
community. Not U.S. citizens, both are expected to face deportation
proceedings following release from prison.
Co-defendant Oscar Diaz-Pineda, 27, a
Mexican national who resided in Houston, also pleaded guilty May 31, 2017, and
is set for sentencing Sept. 28, 2017.
At the time of his plea, Alvarez
admitted to brokering a drug transaction with an undercover agent via telephone
on Dec. 7, 2016. Two days later, Vasquez and Diaz-Pineda met with the
undercover agent in Houston to deliver five kilograms of methamphetamine on
behalf of Alvarez. Agents arrested Vasquez and Diaz-Pineda that same day and
seized the narcotics. Alvarez was subsequently arrested on April 16, 2017, in
All three have been and will remain in
The Drug Enforcement Administration
conducted the investigation along with task force officers from the Harris
County Sheriff’s Office, police departments in Humble and Missouri City and the
Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis is
prosecuting the case.