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Illegal alien indicted on meth trafficking, distribution charges in North Alabama

A federal grand jury this week handed down a 17-count indictment against a previously deported foreign national for drug and firearm-related charges, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent in charge Brad L. Byerley and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent in charge Katrina Berger made the announcement Friday.

According to the indictment, Juan Jose Maldonado-Arce, age 36, possessed and sold methamphetamine and cocaine hydrochloride in Madison and Limestone Counties during the timeframe of May 2021 to February 2022. He also possessed a Taurus 9mm pistol, a Smith & Wesson .32 caliber revolver and a Hi-Point 9mm pistol.

Maldonado-Arce was indicted on the following charges:

  • One count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine hydrochloride
  • Three counts of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • Two counts of distribution of methamphetamine
  • Two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride
  • One count of distribution cocaine hydrochloride
  • Two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm
  • Two counts of being an undocumented individual in possession of a firearm
  • Two counts of carrying or possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • One count of using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
  • One count of illegal re-entry after deportation

Maldonado-Arce re-entered the United States in July 2012, July 2016, and June 2020 after he was previously deported to Mexico on March 24, 2011.

The case was investigated by the DEA and HSI. The prosecuting official is Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL