STATESVILLE, N.C. B A federal jury sitting in Statesville convicted Carlos Antonio Flores, age 34, of Statesville, of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, following a three-day trial that ended yesterday, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta and the Carolinas and Sheriff Darren Campbell of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Flores was involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy that operated mainly in Iredell, Alexander, Caldwell, Catawba, and Ashe Counties. Trial evidence established that from at least as early as April 2015 through October 30, 2015, Flores and his co-conspirators distributed more than 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, which has a street value of more than $1,500,000. According to trial evidence, law enforcement arrested Flores on October 30, 2015, when he and several co- conspirators were caught distributing more than a kilogram of 96% pure crystal “ice” methamphetamine concealed in a cat litter box.
This prosecution is part of an ongoing investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that has resulted in the conviction of more than 200 defendants on methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges. OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
Flores has been in federal custody October 2015. At sentencing, Flores faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000,000.
The case was investigated by HSI in Charlotte, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
The prosecution of case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven R. Kaufman and Sanjeev Bhasker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
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