News and Press Releases

Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Marijuana Trafficker
Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison

August 4, 2011

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Senior United States District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik sentenced Michael Lavin-Valdez, age 35, formerly of Miami, Florida, to 120 months in prison for his involvement in a cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana trafficking conspiracy which operated in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Florida in 2008.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Lavin-Valdez was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, and aiding and abetting the distribution of crack cocaine, after a two-day jury trial conducted before Senior Judge Kosik in January 2009.

     The charges against Lavin-Valdez resulted from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police. The investigation revealed that Lavin-Valdez was part of a drug-trafficking conspiracy which transported cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana from suppliers in Florida to distributors in New York, traveling through Pennsylvania. The investigation began on September 6, 2008, when the Pennsylvania State Police stopped a member of the drug ring for a traffic violation on Interstate Route 80 in Monroe County. The Pennsylvania State Police subsequently located a large amount of crack cocaine in the vehicle.

     Lavin-Valdez will be required to serve at least 85% of his 120 - month sentence. In addition, Senior Judge Kosik further ordered that the defendant be supervised by a probation officer for five years after serving his jail sentence.

     Previously, a co-defendant in the case, Caleb Sotomayor-Teijeiro, age 35, formerly of Newark, New Jersey, was also sentenced to 120 months in prison by Senior Judge Kosik.

     The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O'Hara.


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