Two 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. Fifteen others have previously been sentenced to prison terms. The remainder are awaiting sentencing.
Manuel Ramirez, 24, of Collinsville, Illinois, who had previously entered a plea of guilty on December 14, 2011, to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 22, 2012, to 81 months in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay a fine of $300 and a special assessment of $100. Ramirez was also ordered to forfeit $74,550 to the United States.
Javier Villasenor-Cardona, 28, a citizen of Mexico, who is currently in the United States illegally and who had previously entered pleas of guilty on October 19, 2011, to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Illegal Re-entry Following Deportation; and Unlawful Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine, was sentenced on March 22, 2012, to 130 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay a fine of $750 and a special assessment of $300. Villasenor-Cardona was ordered to forfeit $231,000, to the United States. In addition, the Court entered a Judicial Order of Removal, which will require Villasenor-Cardona 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.