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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 13, 2015

California Felon Convicted Of Conspiracy And Distribution Of Methamphetamine In Western Kentucky

Nearly 4 pounds of pure meth found hidden inside SUV engine

Faces up to life in prison

PADUCAH, Ky. – A felon from the Los Angeles, California area was convicted by a federal jury in Paducah, Kentucky, recently of conspiracy to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine in McCracken County, announced Acting United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

“Methamphetamine continues to destroy so many lives; it has become a toxic scourge within our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “This conviction helps by putting a drug dealer behind bars and removing pounds of this poison from our streets.”

Jose Manuel Jimenez, age 34, of Hemet, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison and could be sentenced to life in prison for his role in attempting to distribute nearly four pounds of pure methamphetamine with a street value of $160,000. There is no parole in the federal system.

The trial lasted three days and jurors deliberated under one hour before returning a guilty verdict on April 8, 2015, on both counts of the October 14, 2014, superseding indictment. Jimenez is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and will be sentenced before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell.

Evidence presented at trial included photographs of the methamphetamine hidden inside the engine of a Dodge Durango SUV and cellular phone records. Testimony indicated that the meth had been shipped to Western Kentucky from Arkansas, but the shipment may have originated in Southern California.

Co-defendant Rodolfo Benitez pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute meth, on July 22, 2014 and is scheduled for sentencing on April 14, 2015 at 12:30pm before Senior Judge Russell.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Larry E. Fentress and Nute A. Bonner and was investigated by the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Updated April 13, 2015