Louisville, KY – A federal grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, returned a ten-count indictment on February 7, 2023, charging four men with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. Each were also charged with additional drug distribution offenses, and one was also charged with firearms offenses. All four were arrested today.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office, Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel of the Louisville Metro Police Department, and Sheriff John Aubrey of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement.
According to court documents, Cesar Valdes, 31, of Louisville, Victor Hernandez, 35, of Louisville, Jorge Morales Martinez, 45, of Mexico, and Irlan Salazar, 39, of Louisville, were all charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine and over 400 grams of fentanyl. Valdes was also charged with three counts of fentanyl distribution, four counts of methamphetamine distribution, and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Hernandez was also charged with one count of methamphetamine distribution and one count of fentanyl distribution. Martinez was also charged with one count of fentanyl distribution. Salazar was also charged with one count of methamphetamine distribution.
The defendants made their initial court appearances today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, all defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.
The FBI, Louisville Metro Police Department, and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dahl is prosecuting the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.