A Mexican National will spend eight years in federal prison for his role in distributing methamphetamine in Northwest Tennessee.
Acting U.S. Attorney for West Tennessee Joseph C. Murphy, Jr. says 51-year-old Saul Vega Flores was sentenced in Jackson federal court to 100 months in federal prison followed by three years supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of actual methamphetamine.
In 2017, DEA agents, using wiretaps and physical evidence learned Flores was meeting with other individuals in Martin and Union City as part of a conspiracy to distribute hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine.
On November 13, 2017, Flores and Rolando Lopez met with Kenneth Garrett, of Kenton, who transported Flores to Ronald Parham’s residence in Martin, where Flores cooked methamphetamine/ICE.
On December 1, 2017, DEA agents developed information that Lopez was arranging a shipment of a significant amount of methamphetamine from Mexico to Tennessee. The shipment was to be picked up in Mexico by Virginia Torres and delivered to Parham’s residence in Martin. This address was being used to convert liquid and powder methamphetamine into crystal methamphetamine.
On December 3, 2017, DEA agents set up surveillance at Parham’s residence. Investigators also followed Garrett and Flores from Nashville to Martin and Union City. Through wiretap interceptions of phone calls between Lopez, Garrett, Flores, and Torres, investigators tracked Torres from Mexico to a Days Inn in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Investigators observed Garrett and Flores meet with Torres who was driving a 2004 Lincoln Navigator. All three suspects left the Days Inn and headed to Martin along Highway 51. DEA agents and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop on the vehicles on Highway 51 in Obion County.
On December 5, 2017, investigators searched the Lincoln Navigator and discovered a large quantity of methamphetamine/ICE in a hidden lead compartment in the tires and wrapped around the wheels. A DEA forensic laboratory examination revealed that Torres was carrying 44.85 kilograms of 98% pure ICE. Investigators confirmed that Parham’s garage was being used to store and convert methamphetamine, and that either Flores or Parham would convert the powder or liquid methamphetamine to crystal methamphetamine.
Investigators also learned from cooperating witnesses that Flores is an “expert” at converting methamphetamine and that Lopez arranged for him to be transported from Mexico to Tennessee to convert methamphetamine into crystal form for distribution.
The co-defendants in the case received the following sentences: Kenneth Garrett was sentenced to 200 months; Ronald Parham was sentenced 120 months; Virginia Torres was sentenced to 60 months and Ronald Lopez was sentenced to life imprisonment.
There is no parole in the federal system.