DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     CONTACT:  Donna Krise
THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2008                                     ACTING PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER                                                                               PHONE: (936) 639-4003



(Beaumont, TX)  United States Attorney Becky Gregory announced today that a 26 year old Houston, Texas man has been sentenced to 30 months for federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

            JUAN PINEDA had pleaded guilty in February of this year to possession with the intent to distribute less than five hundred grams of cocaine.  Pineda was sentenced today during an appearance before the Honorable Judge Thad Heartfield.  Following his release from federal prison, Pineda will be required to complete a three year period of supervised release and he was ordered to be deported.

            According to information presented in Court, investigators working through a cooperating witness arranged to purchase cocaine from a co-defendant of Pineda.  On three occasions, Pineda delivered cocaine, at the direction of his co-defendant, to undercover officers at locations in Dayton and Houston, Texas.  Pineda is the first of three defendants to be sentenced who were involved in a Mexican cartel which smuggled in large quantities of cocaine using Houston as a distribution point to other Texas cities.

            This case was investigated by the Houston office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Houston Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Rawls.

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