Two Foreign Nationals Sentenced for Roles in Large Cocaine Distribution Organization
Two men who were indicted along with twenty-four other individuals and charged with being members of a large cocaine distribution organization, have been sentenced to prison, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. All of the charged co-conspirators have been convicted in this case. Thirteen others have previously been sentenced to prison terms. The remainder are awaiting sentencing.
Jose Murillo, 43, a citizen of Mexico, who had previously entered a plea of guilty on December 2, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 16, 2012, to 136 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay a fine of $400 and a special assessment of $100. Murillo was also ordered to forfeit $419,580 to the United States.
Edwin Fernando-Montejo, 25, a citizen of Guatemala, who had previously entered a plea of guilty on December 8, 2011, to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Improper Entry by an Alien; and Unlawful Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 16, 2012, to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay a fine of $625 and a special assessment of $210. Fernando-Montejo was ordered to forfeit$136,920, to the United States.
In addition, the Court entered a Judicial Order of Removal as to both Murillo and Fernando- Montejo, which will require each to be deported from the United States following his release from prison.
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 prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey.