News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2008
Contact: S/A Rich Isaacson
Number: (313) 234-4310

Mich Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and
Unlawful Reentry into United States
-Man is 2nd Illegal Alien in Week to Plead Guilty in Joint Investigation by DEA and ICE

AUG 20 -- LOUISVILLE, KY - Roberto Nolasco-Flores, age 35, of Richland, Michigan, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and to unlawful reentry into the United States without obtaining approval from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.

Nolasco-Flores admitted that between September 13, 2007, and October 2, 2007, he conspired with co-defendants Daniel Leeper and Hector Ontiveros-Valenzuela to distribute marijuana in the Western District of Kentucky. The total quantity of marijuana attributable to Nolasco-Flores will be determined at sentencing, but the United States will contend that he is responsible for the distribution of between 100 and 400 kilograms of marijuana. Nolasco-Flores also admitted that he had been removed from the United States on July 1, 2002, after being convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance in California, and that he had re-entered the country without obtaining approval from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

On September 13, 2007, Louisville, Kentucky, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were assisting DEA agents from Kalamazoo, Michigan, with surveillance of two men, Roberto Nolasco-Flores and Hector Ontiveros-Valenzuela, who had driven a van from Kalamazoo to Louisville to meet with a person later identified as Daniel Leeper, for a drug transaction. They observed Leeper transfer two boxes from his vehicle to the van, which left northbound. Agents followed the van to a residence in Richland, Michigan. They obtained a search warrant and seized approximately 80 kilograms of marijuana from the boxes which had been loaded in the van, from Leeper’s vehicle in Louisville.

Nolasco and Ontiveros are illegal aliens who have previously been deported after having been convicted of felony drug offenses. The maximum potential penalties are 40 years imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of four years.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Larry Fentress, and it was jointly investigated by the DEA and the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The plea was entered before Chief Judge John G. Heyburn II, United States District Court, Louisville, Kentucky. Judge Heyburn has ordered a presentence investigation. Sentencing should be scheduled in approximately eight to ten weeks.

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