FORT WAYNE-Hector Castaneda, age 60, of Michoacan, Mexico, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Holly A. Brady on his plea of guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.
Castaneda was sentenced to 292 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.
According to documents in this case and in related cases, from March of 2010 through April of 2011, Castaneda, also known as “El Pariente” conspired to distribute many kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into Allen County, Indiana, and elsewhere. Castaneda was indicted in 2012, and he remained a fugitive in Mexico until he was arrested in 2017.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Fort Wayne Safe Streets Gang Task Force, with the members being the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, and the Fort Wayne Police Department. Other law enforcement agencies providing assistance were the Allen County Drug Task Force, the New Haven Police Department, and the San Bernardino County, California, Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony W. Geller.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.