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Justice News

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Elkhart, Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting Cocaine from Texas to Pennsylvania and Ohio

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Elkhart, Indiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal drug laws, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Ancelmo Ayala, 42, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from June 2013 through February 2015, Ayala engaged in a conspiracy with eighteen co-defendants to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The cocaine that was coming from Texas was being transported to Erie and Ohio for further distribution. According to information disclosed to the court, Ayala was one of the conspirators who transported the drug trafficking organization’s cocaine to Erie in a vehicle equipped with hidden compartments.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for August 14, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Organized Crime Section, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the Arkansas State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Ayala.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 11, 2017