Major meth supplier sentenced

SAN ANGELO — A man described as “the Mexican Mafia methamphetamine supplier from Lubbock to San Angelo” was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday after entering a guilty plea last year.Eric Cortez Flores, 32, a ranking member of the Mexican Mafia, was sentenced to 360 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings. Flores had pleaded guilty in November 2012 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.According to documents filed in the case, in February 2011, agents with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), received information that a known narcotics trafficker would be traveling to San Angelo from Del Rio, Texas. The investigation revealed that this individual went to Eric Cortez Flores’ residence on Montague in San Angelo. In addition, on several occasions, law enforcement officers encountered individuals with methamphetamine who were connected with Flores and learned that Flores’s mother’s residence on Oaklawn in San Angelo reportedly served as a stash house for Flores’s methamphetamine.On Feb. 22, 2012, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Flores’s residence. That search yielded a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine residue, which was located next to the toilet; methamphetamine residue next to the toilet; approximately $96,000 in cash; a semi-automatic pistol; approximately 25 wrappings similar to those typically used to package large amounts of methamphetamine; and a suspected drug ledger.Flores admitted to flushing an ounce or less of methamphetamine down the toilet before law enforcement arrived. He also said he had approximately $70,000 in his house that was drug sales proceeds from the past 18 months and that he’d distributed approximately one pound of methamphetamine every two weeks during that time period.He said his methamphetamine was from Mexico, but refused to provide his supplier’s name. Flores also stated that the wrappings found in his backyard and bedroom contained one pound of methamphetamine each and admitted he knew a firearm was in his house.The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI, the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, and the San Angelo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag prosecuted.