Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Las Vegas Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Drug Supplier During 2013 Marijuana Transaction
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Louis Matthews, 35, was sentenced today to life in prison for drug and firearm crimes that resulted in the death of a man during a drug deal at a North Las Vegas apartment in November 2013, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder of the ATF. United States District Judge James C. Mahan also sentenced Matthews to 10 additional years in prison and five years of supervised release.
“Our United States Attorney’s Office and all our law enforcement partners remain vigilant in efforts to identify violent crime and we will continue to combat it head on to keep our communities safe. As in this case, we will work with our law enforcement partners to address and prevent violent crime issues. We remain committed to pursuing justice for all victims,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden.
“This case is an example of the hard work the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department and ATF agents do on a daily basis to protect the public from armed drug traffickers who threaten our neighborhoods,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder. “At ATF, our goal is to protect our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. One of the ways ATF is able to do that is through the successful partnerships we have with other agencies.”
Following a seven-day trial, Matthews was convicted by a jury on Oct. 12, 2016, of one count of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in death.
According to the court records, on Nov. 30, 2013, Matthews and John Thomas III arrived at an apartment on East Cheyenne Avenue in North Las Vegas to participate in a deal to purchase 20 pounds of marijuana from the deceased victim, Luciano Madrigal-Herrera. Also present at the apartment were Julio Nunez and Angel Juarez. The victim showed some of the marijuana to Matthews for inspection, and then went back outside to retrieve the rest. Matthews also left the apartment, stating he was going to get his friend, Thomas, as well as money for the marijuana. The three men returned to the apartment, and then Thomas and Matthews each produced handguns and repeatedly shot the victim during an attempt to rob him of the marijuana, causing his death. The defendants took the marijuana and attempted to flee with it. Nunez, in an attempt to prevent Matthews and Thomas from fleeing with the marijuana, shot at both of them with a sawed-off shotgun, striking both Thomas and his vehicle. Thomas and Matthews were ultimately able to escape the scene. Thomas was apprehended later the same night by the North Las Vegas Police Department after officers discovered that his gunshot-riddled vehicle had been left behind at the scene parked in front of the apartment where Madrigal-Herrera had been killed. Matthews was charged after the ensuing investigation led to his identity as the second suspect.
Three co-defendants were also charged in the scheme. John Thomas III, 25, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in death, and is awaiting sentencing. Julio Nunez, 28, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to 42 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Angel Juarez, 29, of North Las Vegas, is awaiting trial.
This case was investigated by ATF, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and North Las Vegas Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip N. Smith Jr. and Alexandra M. Michael.