by Don Ledford
A Mexican national who has illegally entered the United States at least seven times was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in the Kansas City, Missouri, area and in the Springfield, Missouri, area.
Armando Quintana-Galaz, 37, a citizen of Mexico residing in Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 16 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.
On Sept. 12, 2019, Quintana-Galaz pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and to illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.
Quintana-Galaz had been deported from the United States six times before being arrested on Nov. 2, 2017, in Springfield. At that time, he was again illegally present in the United States. When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Quintana-Galaz’s residence on that day, they found approximately 3.159 kilograms of pure methamphetamine in a hamper in the master bathroom and approximately 189 grams of pure methamphetamine in a dresser in the master bedroom. They found a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun, a Norinco SKS 762-caliber rifle, various ammunition, a bag that contained approximately four grams of cocaine, and six cell phones. They also found a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun in his Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Officers also found $40,020 in a dresser in the master bedroom, $6,295 in the pocket of his pants that were on a TV stand, and $293 in a suitcase in the master bathroom closet. According to his plea agreement, the $46,608 seized from Quintana-Galaz’s residence would convert to more than 2.6 kilograms (2,642.6 grams) of methamphetamine.
Quintana-Galaz admitted that he sold and distributed methamphetamine, that he received and transported illicit drug proceeds as part of his involvement in the conspiracy, and that he possessed several firearms found at his residence, at least in part, to further his involvement in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. His plea agreement cites several instances in which Quintana-Galaz was involved in the distribution of methamphetamine to cooperating law enforcement sources.
Quintana-Galaz is the fourth defendant in this case to be sentenced. Two more defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).