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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Houston Man Sentenced to More Than 14 Years in Federal Drug Conspiracy Case

Contact: Joel B. Casey
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Bangor, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that
Apolinar Ortiz Islas, a/k/a “Polo”, 44, formerly of Houston, Texas was sentenced on
Wednesday, August 13, in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 14 years and 2 months imprisonment
after being found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute
five kilograms or more of cocaine, following a three day trial in October 2013.

Evidence at trial established that Ortiz-Islas was the Houston based source of cocaine for
a group of Canadian drug traffickers from New Brunswick, Canada. The Canadian traffickers
would smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash into Northern Maine and have it
transported to Houston where it was used to pay Ortiz-Islas for kilograms of cocaine. The
cocaine would then be transported back to Maine and smuggled into Canada. Testimony at trial
indicated that Ortiz-Islas was obtaining the cocaine from a source in Mexico. Evidence further
established that the conspiracy operated in this manner for approximately two years. Ortiz-Islas
was arrested in Houston in September 2012 as he attempted to deliver ten kilograms of cocaine
to an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a courier for the Canadian drug traffickers.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security
Investigations Office in Houlton, Maine, with assistance provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration in Houston, Texas, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Updated January 26, 2015