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Press Release

Illinois Man Sentenced to More Than 32 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – United States Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley, announce that NOLBERTO ORTEGA, 54, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 390 months in prison on October 28th for distribution of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl. U.S. District Judge Liles C. Burke imposed the sentence.

In August 2019, a federal grand jury charged ORTEGA in a multi-count indictment with leading a drug trafficking organization that transported heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl from Mexico to Talladega, Alabama. The charges stemmed from an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Talladega County Drug Task Force in early 2019. Officers arrested ORTEGA in California after seizing a shipment of drugs in Talladega.

“This dealer went to extreme lengths to profit from this deadly poison with no regard to the devastation and destruction he left behind,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona.  “The lengthy sentence sends the message that drug trafficking in our communities will not be tolerated and will be severely punished.  The citizens of the Northern District of Alabama have one less drug dealer to worry about for years to come.”

“We will continue to attack the scourge of illegal and dangerous drug distribution in Alabama and beyond,” said Special Agent in Charge Byerley.  “The lengthy sentencing of this individual should be taken as a message to those who want to sell drugs.  We are going to catch you and put you in prison for a long time if you distribute this poison in our communities.”

DEA investigated the case, along with the Talladega County Drug Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorneys Blake Milner and Austin Shutt prosecuted the case.

Updated November 9, 2020

Drug Trafficking