Operation Mexicalley Main Conspirator Sentenced to 144 Months
JACKSON, TN—The main conspirator in a drug ring responsible for distributing massive amounts of methamphetamine throughout West Tennessee has been sentenced to 144 months in federal prison. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentencing today.
According to the indictment, between February and August 2013, Richard E. Alley, 41, of Hardin County, conspired with more than a dozen others to unlawfully distribute and possess with intent to distribute significant quantities of meth in various West Tennessee jurisdictions, including Clifton, Savannah, Wayne County and Hardin County.
Operation Mexicalley, a year-and-a-half-long investigation conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, revealed that Alley and 17 others were immersed in a drug ring conspiracy to distribute meth and marijuana in the state’s western district. Fifteen of the defendants were indicted in January 2014 and three others in August 2014. Alley’s drug trafficking organization was transporting the meth from Mexico into West Tennessee for distribution, hence the name “Operation Mexicalley.” Thus far, 17 of the defendants have pled guilty and 14 have been sentenced. One defendant, Oscar Alvarez Franco, remains a fugitive.
Over the course of Operation Mexicalley’s duration, 13 state and federal search warrants were executed on residences of the defendants. During these searches, law enforcement officials seized more than 640 grams of meth and over 80 grams of marijuana. Law enforcement also seized 75 firearms, which included an arsenal of pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns.
In July 2015, Alley pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute meth. He also pled guilty to one count of aiding and abetting, distributing, attempting to distribute, and possessing with intent t0 distribute meth.
Last week, Chief U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Alley to 144 months on the conspiracy charge and 60 months on the aiding and abetting charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 24th Judicial Drug Task Force, and Lexington Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth C. Boswell prosecuted the case on the government’s behalf.