PHOENIX, AZ. – Luis Nevarez-Meneses, 27, of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. Chief Judge Roslyn O. Silverto more than 12 years in prison. Nevarez-Meneses pleaded guilty on June 14, 2011, to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Five or More Kilograms of Cocaine.
Nevarez-Meneses was one of three men charged in the case who conspired together and with others to distribute large quantities of cocaine to customers in the United States. They also conspired to collect narcotics proceeds from their U.S.-based customers to be returned to Mexico. Nevarez-Meneses lived in the drug trafficking organization’s stash house and was responsible for delivering the cocaine to customers. Nevarez-Meneses was also responsible for taking receipt of narcotics proceeds, which were brought to the stash house to be counted, repackaged, and transported to the cocaine source of supply. Nevarez-Meneses was arrested on November 11, 2010, at his residence in Avondale, Ariz. Agents seized $1,881,190 in U.S. currency from the residence along with a money counter during the execution of a federal search warrant.
“For drug traffickers, it’s all about the money,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “To decimate the drug trade, we are following drug money back to its source, targeting the laundering networks, and eliminating the profits that fuel drug trafficking gangs. DEA and our law enforcement partners are working shoulder to shoulder to take apart drug cartels by bankrupting them and putting them behind bars.”
“The seizure of $1.88 million dollars from this drug trafficking organization effectively dismantled its operation in Arizona,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel. “Our office will continue to work with federal and local law enforcement agencies which investigate and locate similar organizations in and around Arizona to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the U.S. and the flow of proceeds from these dealings into Mexico.”
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mesa Police Department, Tempe Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Jonell L. Lucca, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.