Granite City Man Sentenced for Role in Large Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
A Granite City man who was charged with conspiracy for being a member of a large cocaine distribution organization with at least twenty-five other individuals has been sentenced to 151 months in federal prison, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Oscar Valle Ortiz, 32, of Granite City, IL, was sentenced in federal district court on November 8, 2011, following his earlier pleas of guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine and one count of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. In addition to the prison term, Ortiz was fined $750 and ordered to pay a special assessment of $200. Ortiz was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following his release from prison. In addition, Ortiz was ordered to forfeit $508,000 to the United States, which represented the proceeds of the cocaine distributed or intended to be distributed by the Defendant.
Ten co-conspirators have also entered pleas of guilty in this case and are awaiting sentencing. Other individuals who were charged in the same indictment have pled not guilty and are currently awaiting trial. Those who have pled not guilty 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 1 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.