Miami Resident Sentenced to Over 12 Years for Trafficking “Crystal” Methamphetamine
On December 8, 2017, Jose Pablo Ortiz-Santizo, 32, of Miami, was sentenced to 151 months (12.5 years) imprisonment for trafficking “crystal” methamphetamine, which is a nearly pure form of the drug.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), made the announcement.
On September 27, 2017, a jury convicted Ortiz-Santizo for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Between December 2016 and February 2017, the DEA, in conjunction with the Broward County Drug Task Force (BCDTF), conducted an investigation into Ortiz-Santizo’s methamphetamine-trafficking activities. During this period, a BCDTF confidential source conducted controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Ortiz-Santizo. Specifically, on December 10, 2016, the confidential source purchased 82.9 net grams (about 3 ounces) of 98% pure methamphetamine for $1.950 from Ortiz-Santizo in Miami. One gram of methamphetamine approximately constitutes a personal use amount. Ortiz-Santizo obtained two of the three ounces he sold to the confidential source from Ulysses Guevara-Ocana, 31, of Los Angeles, California. On July 28, 2017, Guevara-Ocana was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for methamphetamine trafficking.
On January 11, 2017, the confidential source purchased 54.2 net grams (about 2 ounces) of 98% pure methamphetamine for $1,300 from Ortiz-Santizo. On that occasion, Ortiz-Santizo directed the confidential source to meet Ortiz-Santizo’s brother near a Checker’s restaurant in Miami to consummate the drug deal. In addition, on February 16, 2017, while attempting to assist Ortiz-Santizo in his disabled vehicle on I-95 North in Miami, a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officer seized 111.6 net grams (about 4 ounces) of 99% pure methamphetamine from him.
Additional evidence at trial disclosed that Ortiz-Santizo transported significant quantities of “crystal” methamphetamine from southern California to south Florida for further distribution. The trial evidence also established that given the purity of the methamphetamine it likely originated in Mexico and was smuggled into the United States across the southwest border.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, BSO and FHP. This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Brady, Jr.