A man who once called Georgia home has been sentenced to 235 months in prison for trafficking methamphetamine after he was charged under Operation “Dixie Crystal.”
Braudio Mendoza, 33 of Atlanta, Georgia, will also serve five years of supervised release according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
According to court records, from at least as early as 2018 to March 2019, Mendoza was involved in a drug conspiracy that trafficked large quantities of methamphetamine from Georgia into Western North Carolina. Court records show that law enforcement identified Mendoza as a source of supply of the methamphetamine, and he coordinated drug deliveries into North Carolina. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that Mendoza was responsible for trafficking more than 4.5 kilograms of high-purity methamphetamine, also known as “ice”.
On February 22, 2019, Mendoza pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
Mendoza was charged as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation code named “Dixie Crystal.” Since 2015, more than 200 individuals have been prosecuted as a result of the Dixie Crystal investigation, and the drug trafficking organizations involved have trafficked methamphetamine worth millions of dollars. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement have seized far in excess of 20 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, $500,000 in U.S. currency and other assets, and dozens of firearms.
OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
Mendoza’s case was investigated by the ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Gastonia Police Department, Gaston County Police Department, Huntersville Police Department, Mooresville Police Department, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Davie County Sheriff’s Office, Mocksville Police Department, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Kaufman prosecuted the case.