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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

April 19, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

MEXICAN NATIONAL GETS LIFE FOR DISTRIBUTING COCAINE AND MARIJUANA

STEPDAUGHTER SENTENCED TO 58 MONTHS

(HOUSTON) - Miguel Zamora, 58, has been sentenced to life in federal prison for distributing cocaine and marijuana in addition to a concurrent 20-year-term for laundering the drug proceeds, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes also sentenced his step-daughter, Olivia del Carmen Rodriguez, 33, a naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador residing in Houston, to 58 months in prison for her role in the money laundering.

Zamora, a citizen of Mexico who had previously been deported in 2004 after serving five years for an earlier federal drug offense, received the life sentence today for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana from December 2004 until September 2007.  Zamora pleaded guilty to the two most serious counts of a 14-count indictment on Oct. 14, 2008. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on Oct. 7, 2007.

The court found Zamora was a leader in a drug trafficking organization that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana during the 34-month conspiracy. The court also determined that millions of dollars in drug proceeds were laundered by Zamora, assisted by his stepdaughter, Rodriguez.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the money laundering count as well and has been in custody since her arrest on Oct. 22, 2007.

It was also ordered as part of his sentence that Zamora forfeit his interest in real property that was used to facilitate the offenses of which he was convicted. 

The conviction and sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Houston offices of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division and the McAllen office of the and Drug Enforcement Administration, along with local law enforcement task force officers. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha Minnis and Katherine Haden.

    

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