Alleged Lubbock Mexican Mafia boss pleads not guilty to federal drug charges

A 41-year old man Lubbock investigators believe to be the head of the Mexican Mafia in the Hub City is fighting federal drug charges stemming from a Lubbock Police Department narcotics investigation.

 

Thomas Vasquez Jr., 41, the suspected head of the Mexican Mafia in Lubbock, pleaded not guilty to a March 8 federal indictment of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Vasquez was arrested by U.S. Marshals on March 14 on a federal warrant at his home in the 500 block of 53rd Street, according to a Lubbock police report.

The indictment comes after an investigation by the Lubbock Police Department’s narcotics division, which was aided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Midland police narcotics unit.

Lubbock police officials deferred comment to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

However, in court documents, a Lubbock police narcotics investigator described Vasquez as “the head of a continuing enterprise which spans over the Lubbock area and involved a number of persons directly and indirectly in the trafficking and distribution of methamphetamine.”

The investigator also stated Vasquez’s enterprise in the Hub city used “an array of methods to remain undetected by law enforcement.”

According to court documents, Lubbock police started an investigation into a drug dealing operation in October when a confidential informant told an LPD detective he or she would be able to buy methamphetamine from an unidentified dealer.

The informant, using marked money, purchased methamphetamine from the dealer who investigators followed to an apartment in the 4500 block of 65th Street where they believed more drugs were stored.

On Nov. 1, Lubbock police raided the apartment and arrested a 44-year-old woman who said her husband was responsible for dealing methamphetamine out of their home.

Investigators gave the husband’s phone number and the phone numbers of two other suspected methamphetamine dealers to a DEA special agent who, in February, told investigators the three phone numbers were in contact with a suspected methamphetamine trafficker being investigated by Midland police.

During a joint operation with the Midland police narcotics unit, Lubbock investigators learned from another informant that Vasquez, who was described as the leader of the Mexican Mafia in Lubbock, was trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine.

A deputy in the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office’s gang unit confirmed to police investigators that Vasquez was the head of the Mexican Mafia in Lubbock, according to a court document. The deputy also believed Vasquez was involved in a recent shooting stemming from drug money owed to him.

Under constant watch by police, the informant reportedly used marked bills to buy methamphetamine twice from Vasquez. In both instances, the informant met with Vasquez at a home in the 500 block of 53rd Street. Investigators reportedly saw Vasquez leave the home, travel to a residence in the 800 block of 52nd Street, then return to the home on 53rd Street home to complete the sale.

On March 14 Lubbock police searched both homes.

Investigators reportedly found evidence of Vasquez’s drug-dealing operation at the 53rd Street home including $800 in cash, more than 120 grams of suspected methamphetamine, more than 4 grams of suspected marijuana, a .45 caliber pistol, a digital scale and a video surveillance system. At the 52nd Street home, investigators seized evidence including a gram of a methamphetamine stored in 20 zip bags, a 9 mm pistol with four magazines, and a .22 caliber revolver.

Vasquez was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center. A detention hearing to determine if he will be allowed bond is set for March 27 in the U.S. magistrate court.

He also faces state-level felony drug and weapons charged. His bonds on those charges are set at $10,000, $2,500 and $3,000, according to jail records.

 

More

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:54

Criminal mischief among indictments returned Tuesday

A Lubbock County grand jury issued the following indictments Tuesday:

Read more

Around the Web