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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ocala Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Traffic Methamphetamine And Fentanyl

Ocala, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore today sentenced Tirso Hernandez-Astudillo (35, Ocala) to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. A federal jury found him guilty on February 21, 2018. Also, co-conspirator Simon Rodriguez-Flores (48, Ocala) was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams of more of methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty on February 7, 2018.

According to court documents, on May 24, 2017, in a parking lot in Ocala, Rodriguez-Flores sold approximately 4 ounces of crystal methamphetamine to a cooperating witness. On June 2, 2017, at the same location, Rodriguez-Flores delivered 2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine to the same individual and was arrested by DEA agents. At the time of the incident, Hernandez-Astudillo was a passenger in Rodriguez-Flores’s car.

Immediately after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at the residence Hernandez-Astudillo shared with his cousin and co-defendant, Gilberto Astudillo-Carbajal (34, Ocala), during which agents recovered items used in the manufacture and packaging of crystal methamphetamine. From another trailer across the street, where Hernandez-Astudillo had been earlier in the day, agents recovered a suspicious package containing approximately 1 kilogram of an undetermined powdery substance. Subsequent analysis of the substance revealed that it contained fentanyl. The sentencing hearing for Astudillo-Carbajal has not yet been set.

This case was investigated by the Gainesville Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by task force officers from the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocala Police Department, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The Marion County Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team assisted in the execution of the search warrant and the arrests. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 25, 2018