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5 convicted in record crystal meth case

WOODtv.com, June 19, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (WOOD) - Five men have been convicted in connection with what is believed to be the largest seizure of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice", in the state of Michigan.

In June 2012, a confidential informant told the Department of Homeland Security about a large amount of crystal meth that was being offered for sale in Southwestern Michigan, according to a news release.

A Michigan State Police undercover officer was introduced to a person selling the meth, and several undercover purchases were made.

In August 2012, more than 20 pounds of pure crystal meth were seized from a vehicle and pole barn in Van Buren County. The meth had a wholesale value of nearly $500,000, and is believed to be the largest seizure of crystal meth in Michigan.

Five men were indicted for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute the seized methamphetamine. Four of them, 45-year-old Alejandro Garcia from Grand Junction, 59-year-old Thomas Streich from Lawton, 33-year-old Jon Jeannin Jr. from Kansas City, Mo., and 25-year-old Brent Kellerman from Kansas City pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge before trial.

On June 18, a federal jury in Grand Rapids found 39-year-old Jose Sierra-Villegas from Kansas City guilty of the conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute charges, following a five-day trial.

Garcia was recently sentenced to 108 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

The other defendants remain in custody awaiting sentencing of up to life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles Jr. praised the cooperative effort of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in this investigation.

"This case prevented an extremely large amount of crystal meth from flooding our community. It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies share their resources and focus their mutual attention on a large drug trafficking group."

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Michigan State Police Metropolitan Enforcement Team (MET), with assistance from other state and local agencies.