Judge sentences Monett, Mo. woman, Mexican national for meth trafficking

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News Release) -- A judge sentenced a Monett, Mo., woman and a Mexican national in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Rebecca Castillo, 37, and Heradio Rios-Zarate, 27, a citizen of Mexico, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Monday, April 15. Castillo was sentenced to nine years in federal prison without parole. Rios-Zarate was sentenced to 10 years and three months in federal prison without parole.

Castillo and Rios-Zarate have both pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from March 8 to April 20, 2017.

Castillo admitted that Rios-Zarate was her direct source of supply for methamphetamine. On March 8, 2017, Rios-Zarate transported five plastic containers that contained a total of more than 2.2 kilograms of methamphetamine (4.87 pounds), with a purity level of 98 percent, from Texas. He was stopped for speeding on Interstate 40 in Texas. A police service dog alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. Officers found the methamphetamine in a plastic sack on the floor behind the front passenger seat.

When Rios-Zarate saw one of the officers pull out his handcuffs, he began running into an open field. One officer pursued him on foot and the others followed into the field in their patrol cars. Rios-Zarate was apprehended without further incident. Rios-Zarate admitted that at least one pound of the methamphetamine was to be delivered to Castillo.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Monett, Mo., Police Department, and the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff’s Department.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.