Tuesday, a federal jury convicted a Tuscaloosa County man of possessing methamphetamine. The verdict was announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.
Following a two- day trial before U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler, a jury convicted Carlos Gabriel DeAza, age 48, of possessing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with the intention to distribute, possession of a gun in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. DeAza will be sentenced in June.
The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at DeAza’s home on May 31, 2018. There they found nearly 75 grams of pure methamphetamine, scales and bags for distribution, and four handguns. The methamphetamine was hidden inside of a shoe in the laundry room of the Holt-area home.
“Felons who have disregard for the law will be prime targets by federal law enforcement and will be taken out of our communities,” Town said. “We are committed to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to find these criminals and send them to federal prison where there is no sanctuary for parole.”
“ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence focuses on reducing violent crime and disrupting the shooting cycle that negatively impact our neighborhoods,” Watson said. “The priority of protecting the public is evident with the partnerships with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force and the U. S. Attorney’s Office.”
The penalty for possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine is a minimum of 10 years in prison.
The maximum penalty for possessing a gun in furtherance of a drug crime is 5 years in prison.
The maximum penalty for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison. Due to DeAza’s extensive criminal history, this sentence could be increased.
The ATF investigated the case, along with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Melissa K. Atwood and Kristy Peoples prosecuted the case.
On Friday, President Donald J. Trump (R) declared a national emergency in order to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border in order to slow the flow of drugs and criminal gangs into the country.