Abbeville Drug Distribution Conspirator Sentenced
LAFAYETTE, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Jose Manuel Mojica-Echeverria, 27, of Mexico, was sentenced Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to 24 months in prison plus three years supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Mojica-Echeverria and Ramon Guadalupe Aldama-Rodriguez, who were residing in Lafayette, conspired with two residents of Abbeville, Jesus Silverio Cervantes and Joel Sotomayor Cervantes, on June 13, 2010, to drive a truck loaded with 2 kilograms of cocaine and 360 grams of heroin to Baton Rouge. Aldama-Rodriguez drove the truck, and Mojica-Echeverria rode with him, while Jesus Silverio Cervantes and Joel Sotomayor Cervantes followed in another vehicle. Authorities stopped the truck during a traffic stop. Mojica-Echeverria pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2012.
“The successful prosecution of this case is a result local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies working together with our prosecutors to bring drug traffickers to justice,” Finley stated. “These defendants’ attempt to smuggle kilos of cocaine and heroin into the Acadiana region was foiled because of the hard work and dedication of the agencies involved and their commitment to keeping our community safe.”
Mojica-Echeverria was arrested as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Baton Rouge Police Department, and the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in this OCDETF investigation.
The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson prosecuted the case.