Informant testifies in meth ring case
A 23-year old drug informant testified in federal court Tuesday about the way she said a Tyler man taught her how to establish a business in methamphetamine sales.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baldwin played recordings for the jury in which Mayra Medina learned from defendant Bonifacio Nunez-Romero how to begin selling heroin and other drugs to her co-workers at an exotic dancing club, where she was employed in 2010.
Nunez-Romero, 41, is charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
The case is taking place in U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider's courtroom at the William M. Steger Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
The defendant faces up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted of the multiple drug charges, according to the indictment. Defense Attorney Bobby Mims is representing Nunez-Romero.
Ms. Medina, who admitted during testimony to a criminal history, including drug use and shoplifting, agreed to work as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in return for having two cases of engaging in organized criminal activity and burglary against her dropped. The cases were pending in the Smith County court and dismissed in February.
Ms. Medina testified that she met and got to know Nunez-Romero through neighbors and that he had drugs. Special Agent Darby Hodges asked Ms. Medina to wear a wire, during her conversations with Nunez-Romero in 2010 as she asked him how to get started selling methamphetamine and heroin.
"The hardest part is to get started, but once you start, they are there," the defendant could be heard telling Ms. Medina on the tape in May 2010 as they rode in his truck and discussed how to get a drug dealing business started. The defendant told her to get her friends and co-workers interested in using the methamphetamine because they were the most likely to be trusted.
Ms. Medina would make the drug purchases from Nunez-Romero or his friends, supposedly to sell to her customers, but instead would give the drugs to Drug Enforcement agents, she testified on Tuesday.
The case is expected to go to the jury today.