CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced Alberto Manuel Lara-Zuniga, 46, of Mexico, to 108 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney King is joined in making today’s announcement by Brian Mein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, from December 2020 to February 2021, Lara-Zuniga conspired to distribute narcotics in the greater Charlotte area, as well as trafficked in illegal firearms. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that Lara-Zuniga obtained methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico for distribution into North Carolina through his ties to Sinaloa and Nayarit Cartels in Mexico. Court documents also show that the narcotics were transported into North Carolina through Georgia and California.
Lara-Zuniga is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making this announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked ATF, HSI and CMPD for their investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.