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April 17, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Vicente Ramirez Jr. Sentenced on Cocaine and Firearms Charges

GREENEVILLE, Tenn - On Monday, April 16, 2012, Vicente Ramirez Jr, 22, of Johnson City, Tenn., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to serve 180 months in prison for trafficking in cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of his cocaine trafficking..

In January 2011, Ramirez was stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol while he was en route from California to Tennessee. A search of his vehicle revealed approximately three kilograms of cocaine concealed in a hidden compartment in the dashboard.

In a subsequent recorded meeting in April 2011, Ramirez told a confidential informant working on the behalf of law enforcement that he had just brought five kilograms to Tennessee from California and was planning on taking another trip to bring back another five kilograms in the near future. During a recorded conversation later that same day, Ramirez agreed to sell one kilogram of cocaine to the informant. Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Ramirez’s residence the following day and found the one kilogram of cocaine. Ramirez confessed that he had another 2.5 kilograms of cocaine and several guns at a location being used as a “stash house” in Limestone, Tenn. Agents searched the “stash house” and found the remaining kilograms of cocaine, two 9 mm loaded handguns and an AK-47 assault rifle.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to indictment and subsequent conviction of Ramirez include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, First District Judicial Drug Task Force, Johnson City Police Department and Elizabethton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.

This case was part of the Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programs. OCDETF is the primary weapon of the United States against the highest level drug trafficking organizations operating within the United States, importing drugs into the United States, or laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking. The HIDTA program enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies. The program provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States.

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