News and Press Releases

Eight More Individuals Sentenced In Operation Sooner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 29, 2014

Jacksonville, Florida – Chief U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway yesterday sentenced eight individuals in a cocaine trafficking investigation, dubbed Operation Sooner or Later, which has spanned more than three years. In the latest round of prosecutions, Chief Judge Conway sentenced Rodrigo Cantu Morales, Carlos Uriostegui-Nunez, Mario Ginorio, and Willie Brooks, IV to 10 years’ imprisonment; Monte Washington to 12 years and 11 months in federal prison; Isaias Ochoa to 7 years and 3 months in federal prison; Deonte Dallas to 5 years’ imprisonment, and David Ruvio, III to 3 years in federal prison.  These individuals were sentenced for their respective roles in an international cocaine conspiracy that spanned from Mexico, McAllen and Mission, Texas, and into Ocala and Jacksonville, Florida.

According to court records and trial testimony, these drug trafficking groups were based in Guerrero and Tamaulipas, Mexico.  From early 2007 until late 2011, they were responsible for importing several hundred kilograms of cocaine into the Ocala area.  During the investigation, Jesus Lozano Alvarez and Rodrigo Cantu Morales were identified as working with a Mexican cocaine source of supply known as “El Nino” in Tamaulipas, Mexico.  They shipped loads of cocaine via transport vehicles and couriers from south Texas to the Ocala area. When the loads of cocaine reached Ocala, Carlos Uriostegui-Nunez, Jesus Lozano Alvarez, Mario Ginorio, and Tavaries Norris worked together to redistribute the cocaine to other large scale dealers in the Middle District of Florida and South Carolina.  The cocaine was re-sold to other kilogram level dealers, a portion of which was converted into crack cocaine and sold on the streets of Marion County. 

As a result of this multi-year investigation, 55 individuals were indicted in the Ocala and Jacksonville Divisions of the Middle District of Florida.  Forty-nine of the individuals were arrested and have pleaded guilty, or were convicted at trial. One individual is deceased, and five remain at-large. During this investigation, the United States seized $1.1 million in United States currency, more than $900,000 worth of real property, vehicles valued at more than $220,000, and 50 firearms.

These cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Gainesville Resident Office and Jacksonville District Office. They are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney A. Tysen Duva.

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