17 1/2 Year Sentence Imposed On Leader Of Mexico-Based Heroin Ring
Jorge Andres Lopez Montiel a/k/a Arturo Jiminez-Lopez a/k/a “Jimmy”, 27, of Nashville, Tenn. and Nayarit, Mexico, a Mexican citizen who had been previously deported from the United States, was sentenced to 17 ½ years in prison for leading a heroin-trafficking conspiracy from Mexico, announced Donald Q. Cochran, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
“This prison sentence reflects the commitment of our prosecutors and our law enforcement partners in bringing major drug traffickers to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate and prosecute those whose illegal drug trafficking continues to fuel the opioid epidemic facing this nation.”
Montiel pleaded guilty in May 2017 to possessing heroin with intent to distribute and conspiring to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. According to court documents, Montiel was arrested in September 2009 and was in possession of approximately one-half pound of heroin, a firearm and approximately $20,000 in cash. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2009 but was deported to Mexico before he could be taken into federal custody on these charges. After Montiel was deported to Mexico, he continued to distribute heroin and later methamphetamine, through a network of distributors acting at his direction, who transferred the proceeds of the drug sales to Mexico, often through wire transfers.
Beginning in mid-2013, the Specialized Investigations Division of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department used undercover officers and confidential informants to repeatedly order heroin from Montiel through calls to Mexico. Montiel sent various co-conspirators to deliver the heroin and the transactions often occurred in restrooms at retail stores. As a result of this investigations, 22 persons were arrested on local charges, and approximately 14 pounds of heroin and one and one-half pounds of methamphetamine was seized.
On March 31, 2015, a confidential informant obtained about one pound of high-purity methamphetamine through contact with Montiel. MNPD officers then obtained a search warrant to search the residence where that transaction occurred. Officers executed the search warrant on April 1, 2015, and were met by gunfire as they entered the residence. Matthew McKervey, 26, of Nashville, was charged with firearm and drug offenses and is currently awaiting trial.
Montiel was arrested on May 30, 2016, as he illegally re-entered the United States from Mexico, and eventually pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking offenses in this case.
In addition to Montiel, four others were charged with federal offenses; Matthew McKervey, 28; Brian Goforth, 44; Daniel Alcala, 29; and David Becerra-Ruiz, 42, all of Nashville. Goforth’s case is pending and Becerra-Ruiz was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Matthew McKervey and Daniel Alcala are pending trial on federal charges and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department – Specialized Investigations Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy.