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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 16, 2018

Mexican Citizen Sentenced To Nine Years For Trafficking In Methamphetamine

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Gregorio Lucas-Ramos (29) to nine years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty on October 25, 2017.

According to court documents, Lucas-Ramos is a Mexican citizen who entered the country illegally and resided in Alabama. In June 2015, an individual in Pasco County advised law enforcement that a Mexican man in Alabama, known to him as Gregorio, contacted the individual and discussed selling methamphetamine. During a series of phone calls, Lucas-Ramos arranged to deliver a half pound of methamphetamine to the individual. On June 25, 2015, Lucas-Ramos and a co-defendant, Josuel Ortiz, met the individual in a parking lot near a restaurant in Wesley Chapel. Ortiz retrieved the methamphetamine from under his vehicle and handed it to Lucas-Ramos. After Lucas-Ramos sold the methamphetamine to the individual, he said that his associate would make any future deliveries.

The next day, Lucas-Ramos and the individual working with law enforcement arranged for another delivery of methamphetamine. On July 1, 2015, Ortiz arrived at the agreed upon location, driving the same vehicle he used during the previous transaction. Ortiz and the individual drove to another location and parked their cars. Ortiz exited his vehicle and retrieved methamphetamine from a hidden compartment underneath the car. Law enforcement officers who had been surveilling the transaction then arrested Ortiz, searched his vehicle, and recovered the methamphetamine.

In total, law enforcement seized over four kilograms of high purity methamphetamine. On August 5, 2016, Ortiz, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez and Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Leeman and Michael Sinacore.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 16, 2018