FAIRMONT CITY MAN SENTENCED FOR ROLE IN LARGE COCAINE DISTRIBUTION ORGANIZATION
A Fairmont City, IL, man who was a member, along with twenty-five other individuals, of a large cocaine distribution organization which operated in the Southern District of Illinois, and elsewhere, between at least April 2008 and March 2011, has been sentenced to federal prison, this afternoon, by the United States District Court in East St. Louis, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Luis M. Ramirez , 22, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for the offense of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. Ramirez, who was also ordered to pay a $650 fine and a $100 special assessment, will serve a term of three years of supervised release following his release from incarceration. The Court also signed a preliminary order of forfeiture in the amount of $106,000.00, which represents the value or proceeds of the cocaine distributed or intended to be distributed by Ramirez, to the United States.
Five co-conspirators have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Other individuals who were charged as being members of the same conspiracy are currently awaiting trial. These persons 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 was assigned to Assistant United States Attorneys Randy G. Massey and H. Michael Thompson.