DALLAS — A Dallas man has been sentenced to life in federal prison for his role in distributing meth that was concealed in boxes of cauliflower, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham announced Tuesday.
Joaquin Salinas, 48, pleaded guilty in March 2022 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to court documents, in August 2021, Salinas received a shipment of approximately 247 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed inside boxes of cauliflower. Officials say the street value of that amount is about $3.7 million.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, federal agents testified that the methamphetamine was imported from Mexico, and that Salinas had ties to two different street gangs connected to Mexican drug cartels.
When investigators searched Salinas’ home, four firearms were also found, according to court testimony.
“Mr. Salinas chose to engage in this illicit activity and now can spend the rest of his life with the consequences of those actions. Lives were saved by keeping these drugs off the street and DEA Dallas will continue to put the health and safety of our North Texas communities first,” said Eduardo A. Chaves, special agent in charge of DEA Dallas.
Officials said one of Salinas’ codefendants, identified as Angel Cabrera, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Cabrera is currently awaiting sentencing.
Another codefendant, Omar Jorge Valle Estrada, has entered a plea of not guilty and is currently awaiting trial, officials said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation into this case with the assistance of the Dallas Police Department, the Hickory Creek Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.