|Lincoln City Felon Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Gun Offenses|
Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
|Published on Thursday March 4, 2021 - 5:42 PM|
Felix Daniel Garcia-Mendoza, 28, was sentenced to 204 months in federal prison and five years' supervised release.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to doing everything we can to reduce drug trafficking and violent crime across Oregon. A key pillar of our strategy is to reduce illegal gun ownership and use by drug traffickers," said Acting U.S. Attorney Asphaug. "I applaud our law enforcement partners for their persistence in bringing Mr. Garcia-Mendoza to justice and making our coastal communities safer in the process."
"The brazenness of Garcia-Mendoza's actions clearly warrant this significant sentence," said ATF Seattle Field Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jonathan E. Blais. "He showed a complete disregard for the law and jeopardized the community as a whole. The removal of Garcia-Mendoza and his co-conspirators from the streets will help make Lincoln City and Lincoln County safer."
According to court documents, beginning in March 2018, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) began infiltrating the Lincoln City methamphetamine market. Soon after, one of Garcia-Mendoza's co-conspirators brokered the sale of a quarter pound of methamphetamine from Garcia-Mendoza to an undercover agent. At their initial meeting, agents purchased 113 grams of methamphetamine from Garcia-Mendoza.
Garcia-Mendoza met repeatedly with undercover agents and sold them increasingly larger quantities of methamphetamine. On one occasion, in June 2018, Garcia-Mendoza sold the agents more than one and half pounds of methamphetamine. Garcia-Mendoza also sold the undercover agents a handgun later determined to have be stolen from a Lincoln City gun shop. He wore a Glock pistol prominently in his waistband during various transactions and displayed it by raising his shirt and pulling it out during deals.
On December 12, 2018, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned an 11-count indictment charging Garcia-Mendoza with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was arrested on January 5, 2019 and pleaded guilty to all but three of the charges on January 20, 2020.
Three other co-defendants—Billy Jack Reese, Jr., 42, of Lincoln City, Oregon; James Levi Boyer, 51, of Springfield, Oregon; and Patricia Rose Hedrick, 25, of Newport, Oregon—were charged and have pleaded guilty to conspiring with Garcia-Mendoza to distribute methamphetamine. All were sentenced to time served in federal prison and are serving five-year terms of supervised release.
This case was investigated by ATF, the Lincoln City Police Department, and the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik and William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice's violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.