Foreign National Sentenced for Role in Large Cocaine Distribution Organization
Luis Gonzalos Hernandez-Barahono, 23, a citizen of Honduras, who is currently in the United States illegally, was sentenced in federal district court in East St. Louis today for his role in an organization responsible for distributing multiple kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Metro-East area, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. Hernandez-Barahono had pled guilty on June 30, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, one count of Illegal Re–entry after Deportation, one count of Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, two counts of Interstate Travel in Support of Racketeering, and two counts of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. Hernandez-Barahono was sentenced to 151 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Hernandez-Barahono was fined $700 and ordered to pay a special assessment of $700. The Court ordered the Defendant to forfeit a total of $1,025,850, which includes $448,794 United States currency which represented drug proceeds seized from him by law enforcement while he was transporting currency for the organization. In addition, the Court entered an Order of Removal, directing the deportation of Hernandez-Barahono following the service of his prison sentence.
Evidence in support of the indictment was obtained in an investigation which was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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. Participating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, Fairmont City Police Department, Collinsville Police Department, Fairview Heights Police Department, Caseyville Police Department, Pontoon Beach Police Department, Park Hills (Missouri) Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police. This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey.