Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Eight Kilograms of Meth

By Drug Enforcement Administration

Originally posted on

ALBANY, Ga. – A Florida resident with multiple prior state felony convictions for distributing methamphetamine pleaded guilty to a federal controlled substance charge after being caught with approximately eight kilograms of the illegal drug during a routine traffic stop when his co-defendant attempted to escape from authorities with the bag of drugs.

James E. Freitas, 48, of Winter Haven, Florida, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine before U.S. District Judge Louis Sands today. Codefendant, Miguel L. Mora, 43, of Hanes City, Florida, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on Aug. 12. Both defendants face a mandatory minimum of ten years up to a maximum of life imprisonment to be followed by at least five years of supervised release and a maximum $10,000,000 fine. Their sentencings will occur within 90 days as determined by the Court.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“The guilty plea of this reoffender is the result of the collaborative efforts between DEA and its law enforcement partners who work tirelessly to eliminate the distribution of the insidious drug methamphetamine,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “This defendant will now face serious time in prison.”

“I-75 is a known corridor for drug traffickers moving fentanyl, methamphetamine and other deadly drugs into communities across the southeast and beyond,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Individuals caught distributing large quantities of these types of controlled substances will face federal prosecution for their crimes, which are contributing to the death and addiction of many Americans.”

According to court documents, a Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to conduct a routine traffic stop for a driving violation as Freitas was traveling on I-75 on July 11, 2019. Freitas was unable to provide identification and gave conflicting information. As Frietas was standing outside the vehicle talking with the deputy, Mora climbed into the front seat and drove away in the car. Mora drove the vehicle into a field and then fled on foot into adjacent woods carrying a large bag. Mora was quickly apprehended; the bag that he carried from the car was searched and found to contain 8,099 grams of 97% pure methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $748,000. Officers found a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number on the floorboard of the car belonging to Freitas. A search warrant executed on Freitas’ cell phone found photos of the gun, plus text and instant messages detailing both defendants travel to and from Tennessee to purchase and transport methamphetamine to a third party in Florida.

Freitas has three prior serious felony drug convictions for trafficking methamphetamine in Polk County, Florida, Circuit Court.

DEA and Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Morrison is prosecuting this case.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.comwww.GetSmartAboutDrugs.comwww.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov . Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv