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Press Release

Ohio and Florida Residents Each Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Cocaine Distribution Violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Co-conspirators from Ohio and Florida each have been sentenced in federal court to 60 months of imprisonment, to be followed by four years of supervised release, on their convictions for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan imposed the sentences on Luis Mattei-Albizu, 42, of Columbus, Ohio, and Jossian Ayala-Ruberte, 43, of Kissimmee, Florida.

According to information presented to the Court, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began investigating a cocaine and fentanyl trafficking organization that operated throughout the United States, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. Beginning in December 2019 and continuing through August 2020, the DEA received authorization to conduct a Title III wiretap investigation into the organization, during which both Mattei-Albizu and Ayala-Ruberte were intercepted orchestrating and directing the movement of cocaine through the mail for redistribution. In addition to the intercepted communications, agents seized cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, firearms, and bulk United States currency from members of the organization.

In imposing the sentences, Judge Ranjan emphasized the severity of the offenses.

Assistant United States Attorney Mark V. Gurzo prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the Drug Enforcement Administration in Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Homeland Security Investigations in Pittsburgh and Orlando, Florida; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; United States Postal Service in Columbus; Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General; Lawrence County Drug Task Force–Special Investigations Unit; and New Castle Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecutions of Mattei-Albizu and Ayala-Ruberte.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Updated March 13, 2024

Topic
Drug Trafficking