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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 31, 2015

Illegal Alien to Serve Prison Time for Drug Crimes Before Deportation to Mexico

PITTSBURGH - A native of Mexico, and former resident of the Los Angeles area of California, was sentenced yesterday in federal court for criminal charges regarding his cocaine trafficking and laundering of drug money, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Gustavo Godinez who goes by the aliases Jorge Navarro Ochoa, Abel Acosta, Sergio Leon-Fregosa, Gustavo Torres, and “Tigre” (Spanish for “Tiger”), was sentenced by United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak to a 10-year term of imprisonment to be followed by a 25-year term of supervised release.

During the guilty plea on April 8, 2015, the court was advised that Godinez is a Mexican-born drug dealer who supplied between five and 15 kilograms of cocaine to Pittsburgh area drug dealers between 2012 and 2013. Using his drug proceeds, Godinez obtained expensive vehicles in the names of others and also opened bank accounts in the names of others. The federal investigation revealed that Godinez obtained drug payments from the Pittsburgh cocaine sales in the form of bank deposits, money orders, and wire transfers and that he utilized various associates in multiple states to obtain, deposit, cash, and withdraw the funds, incorrectly believing that his efforts would make it impossible for law enforcement to trace the money back to him. The organization kept the amounts of the money orders below federal reporting obligations for the same reason.

Since the defendant was on supervision in California during 2012-13 for a previous conviction involving his attempted sale of methamphetamine, Godinez acknowledged in court that he faces the possibility of additional incarceration in California. Godinez also faces potential federal charges in California for reentering the United States illegally after being deported to Mexico as a result of his prior drug dealing conviction.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Ortiz and Ross Lenhardt from the Violent Crime Section of the United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted Godinez on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Hickton praised the collaborative efforts of all of the federal, state and local law enforcement officers who worked together to bring Godinez and his associates to justice. United States Attorney Hickton noted the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Pittsburgh District Office, and DEA HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Group 44, in Los Angeles. Hickton specifically noted the valuable efforts of the United States Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigations, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and numerous other officers and agencies.

Godinez and his drug trafficking organization was prosecuted through a multi-agency federal effort within the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. The OCDETF program is intended to focus on prosecuting large scale drug traffickers whose crimes directly affect multiple jurisdictions within the United States.

Updated August 7, 2015