Special to the Bulletin

LUBBOCK — A leader of a methamphetamine-trafficking organization operating throughout north Texas was convicted Thursday following a two-day trial, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas said Friday.

Bobby Ray Diaz, a Mexican Mafia methamphetamine trafficker who was indicted in the San Angelo Division of the Northern District of Texas, was convicted on eight counts of a federal indictment charging various drug and firearm offenses.

Diaz, 31, of Santa Anna, faces a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison.

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings ordered a pre-sentence investigation with sentencing to be scheduled after that investigation is completed.

Specifically, the jury found Diaz guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, one count of receipt of a firearm while under felony indictment, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

The government presented evidence at trial that beginning in November 2006, Diaz conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute approximately 52 pounds of methamphetamine. Diaz was arrested on Nov. 30, 2006, with approximately one ounce of methamphetamine in Irving.

On Nov. 12, 2007, Diaz was again arrested after crashing his vehicle into a creek following a high speed police pursuit. Testimony at trial revealed that Diaz would obtain large quantities of methamphetamine from the Dallas area and transport it back to Brown and Coleman counties for distribution.

Diaz still faces pending state charges for possession with intent to deliver 4 to 200 grams of methamphetamine, possession of 4 to 200 grams of methamphetamine, and possession of heroin out of Dallas County.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, the Coleman County Sheriff’s Office, the Coleman Police Department, the Irving Police Department, and the Santa Anna Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cody L. Skipper and Jeffrey R. Haag of the Lubbock U.S. Attorney’s Office.