A Texas man released from prison after his sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama has again been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges, according to Department of Justice officials.
Hilario Nieto, 41, of San Antonio, is among eight people indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine and heroin in the San Antonio area, federal officials announced Thursday.
John Convery, who is representing Nieto, said it is early in the case and there is no additional information he can provide but presumes his client innocent.
Nieto was sentenced in 2004 to more than 20 years in federal prison on drug charges, according to the federal officials. He was scheduled for release in 2021.
Obama commuted Nieto’s sentence in 2016, the Justice Department said, and he was released in 2018.
“It is truly appalling that a man whose sentence the President previously commuted chose to flout that generous gift after being released from federal prison by resuming gang-related drug dealing in the San Antonio community,” U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer said in a statement.
All of the defendants are in federal custody. Those charged face 10 years to life in federal prison for the methamphetamine charges and up to 20 years in federal prison for the heroin-related charges.
Correction: This Associated Press story has been corrected to reflect that Obama commuted Nieto’s sentence, based on corrected information from the Justice Department. The agency initially incorrectly stated that Obama pardoned Nieto.