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MEXICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 48 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PART IN DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Joel Sotomayer Cervantes, 36, of Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik, to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin.  The defendant pleaded guilty to charges on April 24, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, from January 1, 2008 until March 1, 2011, Joel Cervantes along with Jesus Silverio Cervantes, Ramon Gaudalupe Aldama-Rodriguez, Jose Manuel Mojica-Echeverria, Turon Ajure Leduff, Nora Myriam Monge, and Rene Omar Monge conspired to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and possessed with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Jesus Cervantes ran the cocaine and heroin trafficking organization from an Abbeville residence that Joel Cervantes owned.  The drugs were distributed in the Acadiana and Baton Rouge areas.

The defendant was arrested as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Baton Rouge Police Department, and the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in this OCDETF investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson prosecuted the case.

The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

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