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Mexican National Sentenced to Prison for Meth Distribution in Athens area

A Mexican national who was residing in Atlanta was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for methamphetamine distribution in the Athens-Clarke County region.

Esteban Palacios Chamu, 30, was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Athens to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.He had previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. There is no parole in the federal penal system.

"The distribution of large quantities of the most addictive illegal drugs contributes to criminal activity that is undermining the safety of our communities," U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a released statement. "Local law enforcement is collaborating with our office and our partners at every level to identify and hold accountable those individuals and criminal groups participating in the distribution of this poison."

According to court documents, a Madison County Sheriff's deputy pulled Chamu's vehicle over for failing to maintain its lane on Dec. 10, 2021, in Colbert. Chamu did not have a driver's license or identification card, and when Chamu gave his name and date of birth the deputies discovered Chamu had arrest warrants out of Doraville.

When a deputy smelled marijuana coming from Chamu's car the man was placed under arrest. Inside Chamu's car, officers found a drug ledger, a plastic bag with a large chunk of methamphetamine, a gallon-size bag of methamphetamine, a baggie with methamphetamine, a black bag with digital scales and several cell phones, additional digital scales, a box of Ziplock bags and other drug distribution items in the glove box. More meth wrapped in duct tape was found hidden inside one of the seats.

In all, Chamu was in possession of 1,190.21 grams of methamphetamine.

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