Marijuana Supplier Sentenced to 48 Months
Jesus N. Ortega, 57, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced yesterday to 48 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. Ortega appeared before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Judge Lodge in federal court in Coeur d'Alene. Judge Lodge also ordered Ortega to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $25,000 in restitution. Ortega pleaded guilty to the charge on February 24, 2011.
According to the plea agreement, in November 2006, Idaho State Police began investigating Theodore Bruck for trafficking marijuana. A drug runner who worked for Bruck was arrested in Arizona in 2005 for possessing over 100 pounds of marijuana. The runner told investigators that he transported marijuana for Bruck from 2001 until 2005. Bruck was eventually arrested when he delivered approximately 46 pounds of marijuana to an undercover officer. Following his arrest, Bruck told investigators that he met Ortega while both were in prison. After he was released from prison, Bruck told investigators he contacted Ortega as a source of marijuana for distribution. Bruck used Ortega in this capacity from approximately 2002 until 2004. Law enforcement had previously established that Bruck was using Ortega as a source of supply for the marijuana he was distributing. Ortega admitted to supplying Bruck with at least 400 kilograms, but not more than 700 kilograms, of marijuana during his role in the conspiracy.
The case was investigated by the Idaho State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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