Tucson, Arizona, Man Sentenced for Role in Marihuana Conspiracy
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Peter Brian Flores, 32, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois, on November 30, 2011, to 188 months imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute in Excess of 1000 Kilograms of Marijuana.
Flores is one of 17 co-defendants who have been convicted of transporting large quantities of marijuana from Tucson, Arizona to East St. Louis, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Lima, Ohio and St. Louis Missouri between 2000 and 2007.
Flores pled guilty to the marijuana conspiracy charge on May 27, 2009. Much of the marijuana shipped to East St. Louis consisted of 200 to 300 pound loads concealed inside bathtubs and hot water heaters. Cash from the sale of marijuana was often shipped back to Tucson in the same manner.
During the course of a multi-year investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Tucson police seized over $300,000 in cash from participants in the marijuana operation.
The marijuana distributors used a house on Walter Street in East St. Louis to store large quantities of marijuana awaiting sale in East St. Louis, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. The distributors used the same residence to collect and store cash as each marijuana shipment was sold locally.
The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), with the Drug Enforcement Administration as the lead agency. 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. Evidence in the investigation was gathered by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.