Las Vegas man gets prison term tied to 2013 drug deal, death

Updated July 6, 2017 - 8:25 pm

A Las Vegas man was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison in connection with the death of a man during a 2013 drug deal, officials said.

John Thomas, 25, pleaded guilty March 1, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute and one count of use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime resulting in death.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan also sentenced Thomas to five years of supervised release after his time in prison.

The case involves a Nov. 30, 2013, drug deal at a North Las Vegas apartment. According to the admissions in his plea agreement, Thomas and another man were trying to purchase 20 pounds of marijuana from Luciano Madrigal-Herrera, 33, who was shot to death that night.

After the shooting, Thomas and the other man, Louis Matthews, 35, took the marijuana and tried to flee with it.

Thomas and three others were charged in the same robbery and fatal shooting: Matthews, who was sentenced to life in prison; Julio Nunez, 28, who was sentenced to 42 months in prison; and Angel Juarez, 29, who was sentenced to time served.

The North Las Vegas Police Department, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.

Contact Rachel Crosby at or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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