Inmate brokered Illinois drug deal using cellphone smuggled into prison: prosecutors
CHICAGO - An inmate who has been incarcerated in an Arizona prison since 2010 is facing federal drug charges in Illinois for allegedly brokering the sale of fentanyl and crystal meth in an O'Hare airport parking lot.
Manuel "Chuy" Garcia, 42, was charged with distribution of controlled substances Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
In the summer of 2021, Garcia allegedly coordinated with a buyer outside Eyman Arizona State Prison Complex to purchase methamphetamine and fentanyl to deliver to Illinois, prosecutor's said.
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Prosecutors said Garcia negotiated the transaction, including sending photos of the methamphetamine via video chat, using a cell phone he had smuggled into the prison.
Manuel "Chuy" Garcia (U.S Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois)
Approximately a pound of crystal meth and nearly 1,000 fentanyl pills were sent to a buyer in Joliet who was cooperating with police, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities intercepted the narcotics at a U.S. Postal facility in Forest Park on July 8, the complaint said.
Prosecutors said Garcia then told the buyer to meet a third party for payment of the package of narcotics. The buyer met with Garcia's representative in an O'Hare International Airport parking lot on July 14 and paid 11,000 for the drugs while law enforcement watched.
Prosecutors said Garcia negotiated the transaction, including sending photos of the methamphetamine via video chat, using a cell phone he had smuggled into the prison. (U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois)
Garcia is currently incarcerated at Florence Arizona State Prison Complex.
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His initial appearance in a Chicago federal court has not yet been scheduled.
Read the criminal complaint here: