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Press Release

Mexican National Invovled In Poly-Drug Distribution Ring Is Sentenced To More Than 15 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
To date, 17 Defendants Involved in the Drug Conspiracy Have Been Sentenced To Prison

STATESVILLE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Ricardo Cervantes-Sanchez, 40, of Mexico, residing in Hickory, N.C., to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release on drug conspiracy charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Cervantes-Sanchez was a multi-kilogram level distributor of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, operating mainly out of North Carolina and Tennessee. 

Cervantes-Sanchez’s co-defendant, Raymundo, Villarreal, 22, of Newton, N.C. was also sentenced to eight years in prison and 5 years of supervised release for his role in the drug conspiracy.

According to today’s sentencing hearings and filed court documents in this and related cases, from 2014 until August 2018, Cervantes-Sanchez and Villarreal were part of a drug distribution ring responsible for trafficking methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in Western North Carolina, centered in and around Catawba County.  The conspiracy extended well beyond North Carolina to Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, California, Illinois, Mexico and elsewhere, and involved the trafficking of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics.  Several defendants received sentencing enhancements for their possession of firearms during the conspiracy. 

In addition to Cervantes-Sanchez and Villarreal, to date, 15 additional defendants involved in the poly-drug conspiracy have been sentenced to prison, as follows:

  • Tommy Boyett was sentenced to 198 months in prison.
  • Martin Santillan was sentenced to 156 months in prison.
  • Joey Carroll was sentenced to 150 months in prison.
  • Robert Long was sentenced to 144 months in prison.
  • Ricky Moses was sentenced to 132 months in prison.
  • Juan Villarreal was sentenced to 125 months in prison.
  • David McIntosh was sentenced to 120 months in prison.
  • Jamie Sigmon was sentenced to 114 months in prison.
  • Rogelio Santillan was sentenced to 101 months in prison.
  • Jesus Bedolla was sentenced to 81 months in prison.
  • Ivan Garcia-Arcos was sentenced to 70 months in prison.
  • Samuel Ibarra was sentenced to 60 months in prison.
  • Jose Villagomez was sentenced to 57 months in prison.
  • Manuel Martinez was sentenced to 46 months in prison.
  • Clayton Rivera-Trejo was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Secret Service; the United States Probation Office; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office; the Hickory Police Department; the Newton Police Department; the Lincolnton Police Department; the Maiden Police Department; and the Cornelius Police Department.  U.S. Attorney Murray also thanked the DEA’s offices in McAllen, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Knoxville Tennessee, and the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force in Tennessee for their assistance in this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Bozin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

Updated October 17, 2019

Drug Trafficking