Federal Jury Convicts Man For Conspiring To Distribute Heroin
MINNEAPOLIS—Late yesterday in federal court, a jury found a 29-year-old man guilty of conspiring to distribute approximately 450 grams of heroin. The jury convicted Jose Nunez-Medina, a Mexican national, of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. He was indicted, along with Sarahi Diaz-Estrada, age 23, also a Mexican national, on September 11, 2012.
Trial evidence proved that in August 2012, Nunez-Medina conspired with others to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin. It also proved that on August 11, 2012, Nunez-Medina possessed with intent to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin.
On April 8, 2013, co-defendant Diaz-Estrada pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. In her plea agreement, Diaz-Estrada admitted that in exchange for money, she agreed to drive Nunez-Medina from Indiana to Michigan for the purpose of distributing heroin. But instead, they drove to Minnesota. Diaz-Estrada also admitted that she possessed with intent to distribute 450 grams of heroin.
A law enforcement affidavit filed in the case provided that on August 11, 2012, the Crystal Police Department received information from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department concerning the possible abduction of Diaz-Estrada from her Indiana residence. She was believed to be kept against her will at a Crystal motel. Police proceeded to the motel, determined Diaz-Estrada was there, and knocked on her door.
Both Diaz-Estrada and Nunez-Medina were in the motel room. And after speaking with them, the police obtained and executed a state search warrant for the room as well as for Diaz-Estrada’s Jeep. They found approximately 450 grams of heroin, a scale, balloons, and bags. Both defendants were then arrested on drug-related charges.
For their crimes, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison on each count. United States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis will determine their sentences at future hearings, yet to be scheduled.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Crystal Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with cooperation from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Newberry.