Corpus Christi man gets nearly 15 years in synthetic drugs case
By MATTHEW TAMEZ
Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez has announced that 37-year old Corpus Christi resident James Richard Santos Jr. has received a 174-month sentence for possession with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and illegally possessing a semi-automatic rifle.
Due to his multiple prior convictions, federal law prohibits Santos from possessing a firearm or ammunition per federal law.
Santos pleaded guilty to these charges on Sept. 21, 2016.
At a Victoria federal court hearing on Nov. 8, US District Judge John D. Rainey sentenced Santos to prison for 174 months for the drug charge and another 120 months for illegal possession of a firearm.
Both sentences will run concurrently.
Following his sentence, he will continue to be supervised for another three years.
The investigation into Santos revealed that he was the organizer of a synthetic cannabinoid organization.
Santos utilized storage facilities in Corpus Christi and Houston to store the drugs before transporting and distributing them throughout South Texas.
While in custody, Santos continued to provide direction to others, even using violence and intimidation to control his other co-conspirators.
Along with Santos, two others were also charged in relation to his organization. They have both entered plea of guilty and have been sentenced.
Santos will remain in custody pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Pattie Hubert Booth prosecuted the case.
Reading on your phone? It's better with the app. Download the KRIS 6 News Mobile App for iOS/iPhone here and for Android here.