BELLEVILLE MAN FACES FEDERAL PRISON
A Belleville man who was indicted along with twenty-five other individuals and charged with being a member of a large cocaine distribution organization, pled guilty on July 27, 2011, in Federal District Court in East St. Louis, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Jorge Desantiago, 30, of Belleville, IL, entered pleas of guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine and two counts of Distribution of Cocaine. Desantiago also admitted the forfeiture allegation contained in the indictment and agreed to forfeit $68,250.00, which represents the value or proceeds of the cocaine distributed or intended to be distributed by Desantiago, to the United States.
Desantiago is currently scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 am on November 17, 2011. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and possible maximum sentence of up to 40 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $5 million, a term of supervised release of at least 4 years, and a mandatory special assessment of $100 on the conspiracy count. Each of the distribution count carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, a $1 million dollar fine, at least 3 years or supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
Other individuals who were charged in the same indictment are currently awaiting trial. Those individuals are presumed to be innocent of all charges and are entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.