A Chula Vista man was sentenced to nearly 6 years in federal prison on Thursday for transporting 11 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to Fairview Heights, IL., the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.

Luis A. Aguilar Caldera, 31, of Chula Vista was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing a controlled substance. According to prosecutors, he will be placed on supervised release for two years after serving his prison sentence.

“As a transportation hub, southern Illinois roadways are frequented by out-of-state drug dealers who target operations and plan distribution,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Agents with the DEA work diligently to help prevent the poison from reaching our communities, and I appreciate their efforts.”

According to court documents, a confidential informant working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency set up a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from a Mexico-based supplier in May 2021. The individual met two men in a Ford F-150 at the Flying J truck stop in Alorton, Illinois.

Prosecutors say Aguilar-Caldera was the passenger in the truck that was pulling a lawn mower on a trailer. Aguilar-Caldera told the confident source there were 11 pounds of methamphetamine located in the tires of the lawn mower, according to court documents.

The men occupying the Ford F-150 and the confidential informant were on their way to a mechanic to retrieve the drugs when they were stopped during a traffic stop organized by the DEA.

The DEA led the investigation.

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