News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2008

Paducah Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 15 Years
- Distributed crystal meth worth over $19,000

FEB 13 -- PADUCAH, KY - Jaime Ortiz, age 32, who was residing at 321 Friendship Road, Paducah, in McCracken County was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in United States District Court, Paducah, Kentucky, for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. Thomas B. Russell, Judge, United States District Court, also sentenced Ortiz to 5 years supervised release following incarceration. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

Ortiz had plead guilty to conspiring with co-defendant Pedro Jarquin, an illegal alien and citizen of Mexico, to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine in McCracken and Graves Counties and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking. The crystal methamphetamine recovered by law enforcement in this case has a street value of over $19,400.00.

U.S. Attorney Huber praised the work of local law enforcement, saying this case was the result of a “cooperative effort” between McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, Mayfield Police Department, the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, the Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. On February 11, 2007, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ortiz's residence in Paducah, Kentucky. Officers found methamphetamine residue, digital scales and approximately $4,223.35 in U.S. currency. Law enforcement also executed a search warrant at an apartment that Ortiz was renting in Paducah. There, officers found 42 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. Ortiz freely admits that he possessed the loaded Smith & Wesson handgun in furtherance of his drug trafficking, namely to protect his drugs and money.

Also, on February 11, 2007, acting on information from the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force and Mayfield Police Department executed a search warrant at co-defendant Jarquin’s residence in Mayfield, Kentucky. Law enforcement recovered 133.9 grams of crystal methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging materials for drug distribution, a loaded Smith & Wesson 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, and $22,000 in U.S. currency.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michele Thielhorn, and it was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kentucky State Police, the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, and the Mayfield Police Department.

Co-defendant Pedro Jarquin was sentenced on December 11, 2007 to 15 years and is subject to deportation upon release from prison.

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