News

Arizona Man Sentenced to over 23 Years in Federal Prison in Multi-State Marijuana and Cocaine Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Jose Montiel Rosas, age 51, of Tucson, Arizona, today to 280 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and over 1000 kilograms of marijuana, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to evidence presented at a related trial, Rosas was part of a drug conspiracy led by Ruben Lopez that operated from January 2004 to February 11, 2006, which was responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and thousands of kilograms of marijuana from Tucson, Arizona, to various customers in Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, Maine, and elsewhere. The drugs were transported primarily by truck.

On March 25, 2003 Rosas was the driver of a vehicle stopped by a New Mexico police officer for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed $430,596 hidden inside a spare tire in the trunk. Rosas and his passenger, co-conspirator Evelyn Lopez Gomez had obtained the money from a co-conspirator in Maryland as payment for drugs supplied by Ruben Lopez, and were attempting to transport the money to Ruben Lopez in Arizona.

On Thanksgiving Day 2004, truck drivers Donald Greene and Robert May, were making a delivery of narcotics to a warehouse in the area of Cleveland, Ohio, at the direction of Lopez. They were hauling over 50 bales of marijuana (approximately 2000 pounds) and at least 60 kilograms of cocaine concealed in a load of watermelons. Inside the warehouse, Evelyn Lopez Gomez and Jose Rosas were present to oversee the deliveries and account for the drugs for Lopez. While some of the drugs were being unloaded, a police officer arrived to investigate and Lopez Gomez and Rosas fled through a rear door. The truck drivers were able to convince the officer that they were conducting lawful business, and left, driving to a truck stop in Lodi, Ohio, where they met again with Lopez Gomez and Rosas. Rosas was arrested on January 17, 2007 at his home.

All 13 of Rosas’ co-defendants in this case have also been convicted of charges related to the drug conspiracy.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration for their investigative work in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case, and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Barbara S. Skalla and Michele W. Sartori, who prosecuted the case.

 

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