Arizona prison inmate charged with brokering sale of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Illinois | USAO-NDIL

CHICAGO — An Arizona state prison inmate has been charged with federal drug offenses for allegedly brokering the sale of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Illinois.

A criminal complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court in Chicago accuses MANUEL GARCIA, also known as “Chuy,” 42, of distributing controlled substances.

Garcia has been incarcerated since 2010 by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation. In the summer of 2021, while residing at the Eyman State Penitentiary Complex in Arizona, Garcia reportedly coordinated with a buyer outside of prison to purchase methamphetamine and fentanyl for delivery to the prison. Illinois. Garcia brokered the transaction, including sending photos of the meth via video chat, using a cellphone he had smuggled into the prison, the complaint says. Garcia had about a pound of crystal meth and nearly 1,000 fentanyl pills sent to the buyer at an address in Joliet, Illinois, the complaint says. Unbeknownst to Garcia, the buyer was cooperating with law enforcement. On July 8, 2021, law enforcement intercepted the narcotics package upon arrival at a U.S. postal facility in Forest Park, Illinois.

In the days that followed, Garcia allegedly ordered the buyer to meet with a third party and pay him on Garcia’s behalf for the fentanyl and methamphetamine. On July 14, 2021, while law enforcement was secretly watching, the buyer met Garcia’s representative in a parking lot at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and paid Garcia $11,100 in payment for the narcotics, the complaint states.

Garcia currently resides at the Florence State Penitentiary Complex in Arizona. His first appearance in federal court in Chicago has yet to be scheduled.

The charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert J. Bell, special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. The government is represented by Assistant US Attorneys AJ Dixon and Megan DeMarco.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not proof of guilt. The accused is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which the government bears the burden of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge in the complaint carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison and a maximum of life imprisonment. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing laws and US sentencing guidelines.

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