News and Press Releases

Foreign National Sentenced
Consecutive Prison Term For Role In Large Cocaine Distribution Organization

July 13, 2012

A man who was indicted along with twenty-five other individuals and charged with being a member of a large cocaine distribution organization, was sentenced to prison on July 13, 2012, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Jesus Garcia Chanocua, 34, a citizen of Mexico, who is currently in the United States illegally,was the final co-defendant to be sentenced. He had entered pleas of guilty on January 18, 2012, to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm by a Previously Convicted Felon; Possession of a Firearm by a User of a Controlled Substance; and Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Alien. Chanocua was sentenced to a term of 168 months in the Bureau of Prisons consecutive to a 30 month sentence that he is currently serving which was imposed in the Central District of California, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Chanocua was ordered to pay a fine of $800 and a special assessment of $400. The Court ordered Chanocua to forfeit firearms and ammunition seized from him by law enforcement on or about March 26, 2010, along with $273,000.00 to the United States. In addition, the Court signed an Order of Removal, directing that Chanocua be deported from the United States following his release from prison.

In addition to the twenty-six individuals charged in this indictment, the investigation resulted in a separate indictment and one Criminal Information being filed charging two other individuals with related offenses. This drug traffic organization prosecuted in this case was responsible for the importation and distribution of well in excess of 150 kilograms of cocaine in the Metro East and St. Louis Metropolitan area over a period of at least three years. Many of the defendants prosecuted in this case were in the country illegally, resulting in the entry of seventeen Judicial Orders of Removal, which require that those defendants be deported from the United States immediately upon their release from prison. All of the charged defendants were sentenced to prison, for terms ranging from 21 months to 521 months. Orders of forfeiture totaling $9,000,000.00 were entered against the conspirators.

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.










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