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Press Release

Mexican national sentenced to nearly 17 years in federal prison for role in international drug conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Investigation led to seizure of over a million dollars in drug proceeds and an airplane belonging to the drug trafficking organization

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Mexican national was sentenced today to 16 years and eight months in federal prison for his role in an international drug conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Moises Gamboa, 52, of Rocky Point, Mexico, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

In today’s hearing, the Court found that Gamboa was the leader of a marijuana trafficking conspiracy operating out of Mexico and responsible for importing over 3,000 kilograms of drugs into the United States. The drugs were then distributed across the country, including in the areas of Zanesville, Ohio, and Huntington. Gamboa’s organization transported the drugs hidden in false walls inside tractor trailers and motorcycle trailers.

Gamboa admitted that in 2010, while in Mexico, he arranged for the transportation of 660 pounds of “very good marijuana” to Nitro. The drugs were to be concealed in the walls of a motorcycle trailer. Gamboa also admitted that he informed an individual cooperating with law enforcement that the driver would make contact to set up a meeting. The driver subsequently told the cooperating individual that he would be arriving in West Virginia on March 5, 2010. When the driver arrived in Nitro, law enforcement seized the marijuana hidden in the motorcycle trailer.

Gamboa was extradited from Mexico to the United States to face the charges associated with these crimes. A total of 14 other individuals were successfully prosecuted as a result of this investigation. Additionally, law enforcement seized over a million dollars in drug proceeds and an airplane belonging to this drug trafficking organization.

This prosecution was made possible through the cooperative efforts of several investigating agencies, including the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, the United States Marshals Service, the Kentucky State Police, the Indiana State Police, the Huntington Police Department, and the Policia Federal Ministerial of Mexico. Several Drug Enforcement Administration agents investigated this case, including agents from Charleston, Columbus, Phoenix, Tucson, Chicago, Denver, and Hermosillo, Mexico.

Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution. Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence.

This case is part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Updated June 19, 2017

Drug Trafficking