45-year-old Arnoldo Mendoza Lepez of Littlefield was sentenced today (Friday) to over 30 years in federal prison following a guilty plea to his role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.

Co-defendant 30-year-old Joseph Raymond Jaramillo, Jr., also of Littlefield, was sentenced last week to 30 years in federal prison following his guilty plea to his role in the same conspiracy.

Both Lepez and Jaramillo pleaded guilty in July to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Both have been in custody since their arrest in May.

Co-defendant 27-year-old Zahir Rivera-Pineda pleaded guilty in June to hie role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 5 years in prison in September.

According to plea documents filed in the case, on May 5, 2017, New Mexico State Police stopped a vehicle being driven by Rivera-Pineda that was found to contain approximately 20 pounds of suspected methamphetamine near Albuquerque. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations were able to determine that the methamphetamine was destined for a specific residence in Littlefield.

HSI Agents coordinated with agents from the Lubbock County, Texas Sheriff's Office and Drug Enforcement Administration to complete the delivery of the methamphetamine to the residence in an attempt to identify the individuals receiving the narcotics.

Shortly after the methamphetamine was delivered to the residence in Littlefield, agents executed a search warrant. Inside the residence, agents located Jaramillo, Jr. and Lepez.

Inside the room, agents located in plain-view several of the bundles containing the methamphetamine that had just been delivered to the house. The remainder of the bundles were located inside a hidden compartment located in the closet of the same room. Agents found two firearms in the room with the defendants as well as several other firearms throughout the residence.

The methamphetamine located in the residence weighed a total of 8,833 grams.