Angleton man sentenced 35 years for trafficking meth


Jose Santos Gallegos, 55, of Angleton, has been ordered to federal prison for 429 months following his guilty plea for trafficking methamphetamine in and through the Houston area from 2010 to 2012, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

At the sentencing hearing today, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ordered Gallegos to serve 396 months in in federal prison for his role in this methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. He received an additional 33 months for committing the drug offense while on supervised release for a federal kidnapping case for which he had already served approximately 20 years. The two sentences were ordered to be served consecutively for a total of 429 months.

The court found Gallegos was a leader in the methamphetamine trafficking cell and a career offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. He will also serve a five-year-term of supervised release following his release from prison.

At the time of his guilty plea, Gallegos admitted to conspiring with several other persons from 2010-2012 to possess with intent to distribute certain loads of methamphetamine that had been imported into the U.S. from Mexico. As part of this conspiracy, Gallegos admitted he engaged in a variety of activities, including possessing and transporting methamphetamine in the McAllen and Houston areas.

In approximately mid-2011, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI began investigating a drug trafficking organization operating in the Houston area and elsewhere. The investigation soon revealed the organization typically brought methamphetamine from Mexico into the country near McAllen, ultimately transporting it to the Houston area to be further distributed to other parts of the U.S.

Gallegos was often responsible for supplying the methamphetamine from Mexico. He coordinated the shipments from McAllen, typically through Houston, and ultimately ensured it would be delivered to drug distribution cells located in, among other places, Orlando, Fla., Atlanta, Ga., as well as Dallas and Houston.

Agents made several seizures of methamphetamine in the Houston area during this investigation including an Aug. 23, 2011, seizure of 222 grams of 98.8 percent pure methamphetamine, and a July 19, 2012, seizure of 992.7 grams of methamphetamine that was 73.81 percent pure. Gallegos negotiated with other co-conspirators to obtain these methamphetamine loads from Mexico and have them shipped to the Houston area.

Gallegos also admitted to attempting to negotiate several other similar multi-kilogram methamphetamine deals which did not ultimately occur.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations was conducted by DEA, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Transportation Security Administration and the Chicago, Ill., Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Arthur R. Jones is prosecuting the case.