ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. sentenced Roberto Garza-Mendez, Shadarrian Grimes, Euklides Gonzalez-Hernandez, and Johnathan Pena for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Garza-Mendez and Grimes confessed to having trafficked 200 kilograms of cocaine together during a ten-year span.
“Thanks to the diligent efforts of our law enforcement partners, these defendants’ days of distributing cocaine in the Atlanta community have ended,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges stemmed from a multi-month federal investigation, where DEA agents learned the date and time that Garza-Mendez intended to sell several kilograms of cocaine to Grimes.
The release also said DEA agents and Georgia State Patrol Officers followed Garza-Mendez from his home, stopped his car, and seized the cocaine, as well as a loaded firearm. Agents then executed a search warrant at Garza-Mendez’s home and seized additional kilograms of cocaine, $18,000 in cash, and a loaded rifle.
They also executed a search warrant at Grimes’ home and seized $36,000 in cash that Grimes intended to use to purchase the cocaine from Garza-Mendez. Drug trafficking paraphernalia and a loaded pistol were also present in Grimes’ home.
Garza-Mendez – an illegal alien twice removed from the United States – and Grimes confessed that they had trafficked 200 kilograms of cocaine with each other for more than a decade. Grimes further confessed that he purchased his Suwanee, Georgia, home and other assets, such as diamond watches and a luxury vehicle, with proceeds from the sale of cocaine he obtained from Garza-Mendez.
The DEA investigation also uncovered that Gonzalez-Hernandez and Pena were more recent additions to the Garza-Mendez/Grimes network.
Shortly after the arrests of Garza-Mendez and Grimes, agents executed a search warrant at the Conyers, Georgia, residence of Gonzalez-Hernandez, an illegal alien, who agents identified as the operator of a cocaine stash house. Agents seized approximately seven kilograms of cocaine hidden in an air compressor tank in Gonzalez-Hernandez’s apartment.
Agents also learned that Pena had been a courier for Garza-Mendez, transporting cocaine and money among the defendants. He was arrested without incident outside his Stone Mountain, Georgia, residence.
- Roberto Garza-Mendez, 34, of Norcross, Georgia, received a sixteen-year prison sentence followed by five years of supervised release.
- Shadarrian Grimes, 49, of Suwanee, Georgia, received twelve-year prison sentence followed by five years of supervised release.
- Euklides Gonzalez-Hernandez, 41, of Conyers, Georgia, received five-year, three-month prison sentence.
- Johnathan Pena, 27, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, received two-year, four-month prison sentence followed by five years of supervised release.
All four defendants previously pleaded guilty. As part of their sentences, the Court ordered the defendants’ illegally acquired assets to be forfeited to the United States. Garza-Mendez and Gonzalez-Hernandez will be deported to Mexico following their terms of imprisonment.