For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
, United States Attorney
Abe Martinez, Acting
Contact: Angela Dodge
Mission Man Handed Significant Sentence for Firearms Violation
Houston Field Division
McALLEN, Texas – A local man has been ordered to federal prison for illegally possessing firearms in connection with a narcotics trafficking operation he ran out of his Mission home, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Jose Paco Villegas, 48, pleaded guilty March 31, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed Villegas a 100-month sentence for being a felon illegally in possession of a firearm in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce. The sentence was enhanced because the court found Villegas possessed the firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime. He was also ordered to serve a three-year-term of supervised release following his prison sentence.
Authorities identified Villegas as a person trafficking narcotics out of his residence in Mission. During the month-long investigation, Villegas sold cocaine to undercover agents on multiple occasions. A subsequent search of his residence resulted in the discovery of approximately 230 grams of cocaine, one kilogram of marijuana, more than $10,000 and several handguns, including a Beretta .9mm, Taurus .380 and a Taurus .45 caliber.
Villegas had previously been convicted of felony offenses including the use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and theft. Due to these previous violations, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm per federal law.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Hidalgo County High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Paxton is prosecuting the case.