Trucker Going to Prison After Busted With 150 Gallons of Liquid Meth in Fuel Tank
Oklahoma City, OK – A Chicago trucker who admitted to concealing approximately 150 gallons of liquid methamphetamine in his semi-truck’s fuel tank was sentenced last week to more than a decade in prison.
Enrique Lara, 37, of Chicago, IL, has been sentenced to fourteen years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute liquid methamphetamine concealed in the fuel tank of a tractor-trailer, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing announced last Friday.
According to court documents in the case, on the morning of October 22, 2018, a detective with the Norman Police Department’s Special Investigations Section, Criminal Interdiction Unit, noticed a tractor-trailer parked at a Norman motel.
The detective became suspicious after noticing the big rig bore a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOJ) number inconsistent with that agency’s numbering system.
When the detective asked the driver, Lara, for paperwork and his driver’s license, he also noticed an odor of marijuana.
According to prosecutors, the detective’s suspicions were heightened further after discovering Lara’s paperwork appeared to be fake and because Lara was “inexplicably hauling pallets in a refrigerated trailer.”
Further investigation revealed the supposed shipper and receiver of the pallets had had no contact with Lara or his truck, and that the trucking company had actually fired Lara approximately six months earlier.
After being given consent by Lara and his passenger, Jasmine Morales, 22, of McAllen, TX, the detective then took the tractor-trailer to the Norman city garage.
During his inspection, he found that one of the fuel tanks was full of a “cloudy liquid with small crystals that tested positive for methamphetamine,” according to authorities.
Investigators later disclosed the fuel tank contained approximately 1,260 pounds — or approximately 150 gallons — of liquid methamphetamine.
Lara and Morales were arrested and taken to Cleveland County Jail.
Lara has remained in custody since that time.
A federal grand jury indicted Lara and Morales on November 7, 2018, for conspiracy and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
On March 4, 2019, Morales pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of misprision of a felony.
She was sentenced on August 22, 2019, to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Lara pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute on March 11, 2019.
At the conclusion of his fourteen-year prison term he must serve five years on supervised release.
At the time of the arrests, Oklahoma authorities said it was one of the largest drug busts in the state’s history and estimated the street value to be approximately $4.4 million.
Photo courtesy Norman Police Department