Jury Convicts Hilliard Man For Role In Cocaine Distribution Ring
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A United States District Court jury convicted Osvaldo Ortega-Amaya, 29, of Hilliard, Ohio, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, which was returned following a trial that began on April 20 before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
According to court testimony, agents obtained baggies with cocaine residue during a trash retrieval at a Galloway, Ohio residence in December 2014 and January 2015. When law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at the Galloway residence they located approximately 1,100 grams of cocaine, multiple firearms and a large sum of U.S. currency.
Further surveillance led investigators to a residence in Hilliard, Ohio, where Ortega-Amaya resided and stored cocaine for the trafficking ring. There, agents found approximately 594 grams of cocaine, which was hidden in a closet with baby clothes in the residence, several hours after conducting a controlled purchase of another 500+ grams earlier the same day.
The jury convicted Ortega-Amaya of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Both crimes are punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
Ortega-Amaya was indicted by a grand jury on March 5, 2015, charging him and co-defendant Ezequiel Bonilla-Berrios in a two-count indictment. Bonilla-Berrios was not tried in this proceeding.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the DEA and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Mike Hunter and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Martinez, who prosecuted the case.