News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 12, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Robert J. Hanson
314-538-4670

Four in Large Cocaine Distribution Organization Sentenced

ST. LOUIS, MO -- Armando Murillo, Jose J. Ramirez-De Avila, Carmelo Delgado Mendoza and Florentino Cruz-Amado who were indicted in the Southern District of Illinois have been sentenced to prison, the Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge James P. Shroba announced.

These four men along with 22 others were charged with being members of a large cocaine distribution organization. All of the charged co-conspirators have been convicted in this case, 11 others have previously been sentenced to prison terms, and the remainders are awaiting sentencing.

Evidence in support of the indictment was obtained in an investigation which was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations.

Armando Murillo, 38, who had previously entered guilty pleas on November 9, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; one count of Illegal Entry into the United States without Inspection; and one count of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 8, 2012, to 120 months in federal prison, followed by a term of five years of supervised release. Murillo was ordered to pay a fine of $750, and a special assessment of $210. Murillo was also ordered to forfeit $702,240 to the United States. In addition to the sentence imposed, the Court entered an Order of Removal, directing that Murillo, a citizen of Mexico, who is currently in the United States illegally, be deported from the United States following service of his prison sentence.

Jose J. Ramirez-De Avila, 29, of Fairmont City, Illinois, who had previously entered guilty pleas on November 9, 2011, to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 9, 2012, to 70 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. Ramirez-De Avila was ordered to pay a special assessment of $200 and to forfeit $192,990 to the United States.

Carmelo Delgado Mendoza, 44, of Collinsville, Illinois, who entered a plea of guilty on November 16, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 2, 2012, to 70 months in federal prison, and followed by a term of three years of supervised release. Mendoza was ordered to pay a fine of $12,500, and a special assessment of $100. Mendoza was also ordered to forfeit $279,510 to the United States.

Florentino Cruz-Amado, 24, who entered pleas of guilty on November 1, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Illegal Re-Entry Following Deportation; and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by a term of three years of supervised release. Cruz-Amado was ordered to pay a fine of $450 and a special assessment of $300. Cruz-Amado was also ordered to forfeit $210,000 to the United States. Cruz-Amado, a citizen of Mexico who is in the United States illegally, was also ordered to be deported from the United States following the service of his prison sentence.

Participating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, Fairmont City Police Department, Collinsville Police Department, Fairview Heights Police Department, Caseyville Police Department, Pontoon Beach Police Department, Park Hills (Missouri) Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police.