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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Drug Trafficker And Money Launderer Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison

PHOENIX– On July 28, 2014, Rocky Delgado Marquez, 36, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbellto 18 years in prison. Marquez pleaded guilty on April 10, 2014 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and felon in possession of a firearm, all felonies.

On May 1, 2012, Marquez was charged with numerous marijuana trafficking and money laundering offenses.  The evidence showed that Marquez was responsible for coordinating the importation of marijuana from Mexico into the United States.  He recruited load drivers and obtained vehicles that were outfitted with hidden compartments to hold hundreds of pounds of marijuana.  Once the marijuana was in the United States, Marquez was responsible for distributing the marijuana to customers primarily in the Midwest.  The cash profits were collected and returned to Marquez in Phoenix.  Marquez purchased homes, land, and vehicles with narcotics proceeds totaling over $745,000.  During the investigation, law enforcement agents seized approximately 5,290 pounds of marijuana, $2,713,000 in U.S. currency, one home, two parcels of land, and several vehicles.

On May 14, 2012, Marquez escaped from the Maricopa County Lower Buckeye Jail.  On Jan. 14, 2013, after an eight-month search, Marquez was arrested in the Detroit area by the U.S. Marshals Service.  Marquez was in possession of an assault-style rifle with a loaded high-capacity magazine.  He had been convicted previously of misconduct involving weapons, a felony, in Maricopa County.  On Jan. 20, 2013, Marquez escaped from a Wayne County, Michigan jail facility and fled to Mexico.  Following an intensive manhunt by the U.S. Marshals Service, he was arrested in Mexico on Feb. 26, 2013.  Marquez was returned to the United States on Feb. 27, 2013, and has remained in custody.                  

The investigation in this case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations-Phoenix and the United States Marshals Service in Phoenix and Detroit.  The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonell L. Lucca, District of Arizona, Phoenix and Margaret M. Smith, of the Eastern District of Michigan.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-12-00906-PHX-DGC and CR-14-00484-PHX-DGC           
RELEASE NUMBER:   2014-044_Marquez

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Updated January 7, 2015