CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On February 23, 2022, United States District Judge David Morales sentenced 60-year-old Ronald Flirt to 92 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute more than five grams of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 27 grams of meth.
The U.S. Department of Justice says a jury returned a guilty verdict on November 23, 2021, after deliberating for nearly three hours following a two-day trial.
"At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that detailed Flirt's criminal history, including violent acts and previous convictions for possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver. The court also heard how Flirt violated the terms of his pre-trial supervision prior to being convicted," said officials from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
According to a press release from authorities, Flirt was first spotted at a known drug stash house on Nov. 17, 2020, when investigators had the location under surveillance.
"A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent testified at trial, describing how someone had exited Flirt's vehicle, entered the stash house, and returned to the truck," stated investigators.
Law enforcement says they then conducted a traffic stop and found Flirt had a total of ten Ziplock bags of meth, with an estimated street value of more than $4,000.
"Further testimony revealed he tried to deceive authorities when they initially stopped him. However, jurors saw the bodycam video in which law enforcement asked Flirt to show him his hands which demonstrated he had one finger missing as he attempted to hide a bag of meth," said investigators.
According to authorities, the jury also heard testimony that Flirt had a Santa Muerte statue to protect him from law enforcement.
When Flirt took the stand, he attempted to convince the jury that the drugs found on him were strictly for personal use. The jury did not believe those claims and found Flirt guilty as charged.
The DEA and police departments in Corpus Christi and Mathis conducted the investigation, while Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Marin and John Marck prosecuted the case.
Flirt remains in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, with the location to be later determined.