Two Sentenced for Roles in Large Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
Two co-conspirators have been sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy involving at least twenty-five other individuals in a large cocaine distribution organization which imported cocaine from Mexico and distributed it in southern Illinois and elsewhere, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Saundra Renee Seman, also known as Saundra Renee McCarter, 44, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced on November 17, 2011, to 21 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Seman was ordered to pay a fine of $750 and a special assessment of $100. In addition, Seman was ordered to forfeit $2133.60 to the United States, which represented the proceeds of the cocaine distributed or intended to be distributed by her. On the same day, her co-defendant, Jorge Desantiago, 31, of Granite City, Illinois, was sentenced to 63 months in the Bureau of Prisons, followed by four years of supervised release. Desantiago was ordered to pay a $600 fine, a $300 special assessment, and was ordered to forfeit $68,250 to the United States.
Both Seman and Desantiago had previously entered pleas of guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. In addition, Desantiago pled guilty to two counts of Distribution of Cocaine.
Twelve other co-conspirators have also entered pleas of guilty in this case and are either awaiting sentencing or are serving sentences in the Bureau of Prisons. 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 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.