Foreign National Sentenced for Role in Large Cocaine Distribution Organization
A Mexican national who was indicted along with twenty-five other individuals and charged with being a member of a large cocaine distribution organization, was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis on March 30, 2012, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Nineteen others have previously been sentenced to prison terms. The remainder are awaiting sentencing.
Daniel Ortiz, 28, a citizen of Mexico, who most recently resided in Granite City, Illinois, and 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; and one count of Distribution of Cocaine , was sentenced to144 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Ortiz was ordered to pay a fine of $750 and a special assessment of $200. He was also ordered to forfeit $413,070 to the United States.
In addition, to the sentence imposed, the Court entered a Judicial Orders of Removal, which will require Ortiz 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 is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey.