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Press Release

California Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Heroin Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi


Gulfport, Miss. – Vincente Manuel Ruiz, 37, of Modesto, California, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to 60 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge J. Derryle Smith. Ruiz was also ordered to pay a $4,000.00 fine.

Ruiz conspired to possess with intent to distribute heroin from August 2017 through December 13, 2017. The investigation into Ruiz started after agents with the DEA executed a search warrant at Jermaine Newell’s property in Soso, Mississippi. Agents located 951 grams of heroin in Newell’s possession. After Newell’s arrest, agents learned that he received the heroin from Ruiz. Agents had recorded phone calls in which Ruiz was heard discussing the heroin and set up a meeting to further the conspiracy. After the arrest of Ruiz, agents located two cell phones that showed Newell had previously sent packages of money to Ruiz in California.

On May 10, 2018, Newell was also sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for his involvement in the heroin conspiracy.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the Ellisville Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk.

Updated July 18, 2018