Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Trafficking and Immigration Charges
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LUIS PALACIOS ORTIZ, 44, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to cocaine trafficking and immigration offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 13, 2017, the Connecticut State Police stopped a car that PALACIOS ORTIZ was driving on I-84 East near Waterbury. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed approximately 4.5 kilograms of cocaine.
PALACIOS ORTIZ, who did not possess a valid driver’s license, had been previously deported from the U.S.
PALACIOS ORTIZ pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, and one count of reentry of a removed alien, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Under the terms of a binding plea agreement, if accepted by the court, the parties have agreed that a term of imprisonment of 60 months is an appropriate sentence in this case.
Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for May 14, 2018.
PALACIOS ORTIZ has been detained since February 13, 2017.
This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.