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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Four Men Receive Lengthy Federal Prison Sentences For Trafficking Drugs In Southeast Alabama

            MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – Over the past several months, four men were sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in Houston County, announced Acting United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart. The most recent sentencing occurred this week.

            On May 11, 2021, the final co-defendant in the case, 36-year-old Muta Bolden from Dothan, Alabama, was sentenced to 130 months in prison. Bolden was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release after he completes his term of imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

            Bolden’s three co-defendants were previously sentenced for their roles in the crime. They include:

  • Alberto Diaz, 44, from Rio Grande, Texas, sentenced to 130 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years’ supervised release;
  • Jesus Pina, Jr., 40, from San Juan, Texas, sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by five years’ supervised release; and,
  • Kenneth Nicholas De La Cerda, 27, from Rio Grande, Texas, sentenced to 60 months in prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release.  

            According to court records, this case began in February 2019 when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Dothan Police Department received information that a shipment of cocaine was being brought into Houston County. Based on the tip, law enforcement observed Bolden meet up with Diaz and De La Cerda in Ashford, Alabama. Following a conversation among the three, they all departed separately. Diaz and De La Cerda eventually traveled to the Flying J Truck Stop in Dothan and led an 18-wheeler being driven by Pina to another location. Eventually, Bolden joined Diaz and De La Cerda at the truck and approximately 25 kilograms of cocaine was retrieved from the trailer Pina was hauling. A short time later, all four were apprehended. Each of the four were sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Houston County.

            Federal guidelines called for significant sentences for Diaz, Pina, and Bolden due to their extensive criminal histories and the quantity of illegal drugs that were attributed to each of them.

            These cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Dothan Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon Bates and Joshua Wendell prosecuted the cases.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated May 12, 2021