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Friday, December 3, 2021

Gainesville, Georgia: Man Sentenced in $3M Drug Case Was Recruited By Cartel, Lawyer Says

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The attorney for a Mexican man sentenced to eight and a half years in federal prison claimed in court filings his client was recruited by a drug cartel after trying to escape poverty in his home country.

Israel Bustos-Padilla, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story sentenced Bustos-Padilla Nov. 22.

In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, defense attorney Samuel Fenn Little Jr. wrote that his client grew up in extreme poverty in Mexico.

“His adobe home without electricity was located in the midst of a cartel hotbed,” Little wrote in the memo. “Persons from Michoacan have no option other than to submit to the cartel’s wishes-demands. 

This attorney has been supplied with photographs of pickup truck beds overflowing with corpses and newspaper clippings of families lying in a pool of blood as a result of such failure to do as the cartel instructed.”

Little said Bustos-Padilla came to the U.S. to earn money.

Very quickly he was contacted by operators for the cartel and recruited to assist his co-defendant,” Little wrote. “This role allowed him to also support his drug addiction.”

Little wrote his client has admitted his guilt and committed to changing his ways. 

Little did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Story recommended Bustos-Padilla receive credit for time served in federal custody and be considered for intensive drug treatment during his custodial sentence.

“At the conclusion of the custodial sentence, (Bustos-Padilla) shall be remanded to Immigration Customs Enforcement officials for appropriate removal proceedings from the United States,” Story recommended in his sentence.

Bustos-Padilla and Juan Hernandez-Pacheco, also of Mexico, were arrested after a Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad bust in August 2020. 

Authorities said they seized 67 pounds of methamphetamine in crystal and liquid form, packaging materials, chemicals and a ledger at a Gainesville home in the 3,700 block of James Ed Road off of Cleveland Highway. Law enforcement estimated the drugs’ value at $3 million.

Hernandez-Pacheco pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in July.

Hernandez-Pacheco’s attorney, James Wesley Bryant, wrote that 23.3 kilograms of the suspected crystal methamphetamine seized was determined to be dimethyl sulfone, a suspected cutting agent, after reviewing the government’s lab reports

Gainesville Times


  1. Removal from the U.S. is a death sentence. The should keep him here and put him in witness protection.

  2. LOL, how stupid is the US government, or some agenda behind all this craziness. That clown was not escaping nothing, those clowns go in for the money, they are not forced to work for the cartel, not even in Mexico. Is just like those central Americans getting TPS supposedly escaping gangs and violence, yet Government believe them LOL. Crazy world we live in. Lot of clowns I know working selling drugs living the life of luxuries, but when they are caught crying saying they were forced, what a bunch of bull.

  3. Problem being, if he can’t provide actionable info and has no value to an agent or prosecutor trying to climb the organizational chart, they won’t put him in the witsec program. They don’t do it out of the kindness of their hearts, it costs money, and only our hypocritical elected narcissists get to piss away tax money at will. After many years locked up, his intel won’t be worth much, this guy is disposable, he is not baby zambada.

  4. Deport his ass as soon as possible witness protection already wasted enough money on this fool by incarcerating him!!

  5. What a nice story he is making up. Cartel forced him to consume drugs too. 67lbs of meth could kill a lot of ppl Guy deserves Guantanamo

  6. Let’s not forget his piece of shit lawyer pulled out that sympathy card as a last ditch effort. Crooked fuck.

    1. Sol
      Everybody hates lawyers until you need one really bad. Then you want the slimiest attack-dog out there on your side. Like Bruce Cutler.

    2. Yeah, James. That's exactly when I'll call my mama.

  7. He was sentenced according to federal sentencing guidelines. It looks like a grid, severity of offense meets up with criminal history points, thus the box or the range of months. Within that range the defendant will be sentenced. For example, 96-110 months. That would be said range for this example. There can be downward or upward departures according to certain mitigating or aggravating factors. It seems as though he was sentenced within that range. Poverty, childhood, and such is not a factor taken into consideration. Nice try punk! Go to Oklahoma City and get designated and go do your time you fucking low life poison peddler!

  8. I wonder how his withdrawal symptoms feel in prison?

    1. Da Lucas
      He has no choice but to go cold turkey.


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