U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge Appoints Donald Daniels As Election Officer For The Western District Of Michigan
Two coconspirators pled guilty before trial.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that a jury convicted Jaime Valente Pina, Jr., age 24, of Alamo, Texas, of conspiring to distribute cocaine. Jaime Valente Pina, Jr., Angel Pina, and Magdaleno Rodriguez were charged in February 2017 with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and other cocaine trafficking charges.
The conspiracy began in the summer of 2015 when Magdaleno Rodriguez, a cocaine dealer operating in and around Oceana County, was introduced to Jaime Valente Pina, Jr. as a new source of supply for cocaine. Thereafter, Jaime Pina and his brother, Angel Pina, supplied cocaine to Rodriguez on a monthly basis for further redistribution throughout West Michigan. The Pina brothers are from the Rio Grande Valley – the southernmost tip of Texas - which shares an extensive stretch of border with Mexico. Throughout the conspiracy, they brought cocaine to Rodriguez from their Texas-based source of supply. The conspiracy ended in approximately August 2016 after officers of the State, Sheriffs, Chiefs, Enforcement Narcotics Team concluded undercover buys from Rodriguez and executed a search warrant on his home. The Pina brothers were arrested on November 9, 2016 after officers of the West Michigan Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on a home they were at in Ravenna, Michigan. .
Magdaleno Rodriguez and Angel Pina pled guilty prior to trial and are currently scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff on June 8, 2017. Jaime Valente Pina, Jr. was convicted after a three-day jury trial. The jury rejected his claim at trial through counsel that he was merely an innocent migrant worker. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2017. The Pinas each face a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Magdaleno Rodriguez, who already had two prior felony drug convictions, faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years up to a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations, an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from two state managed multijurisdictional narcotics task forces: the State, Sheriffs, Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team and the West Michigan Enforcement Team. Assistant United States Attorneys Joel S. Fauson and Timothy P. VerHey are handling the prosecution.