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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Organization

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


Memphis, TN – An illegal alien from Mexico, Jesus Vega, 38, has been sentenced to 121 months in federal prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, in August 2018, investigators with the DEA and the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force recovered 11 pounds of methamphetamine from a driver in Decatur County during a routine traffic stop. The driver identified Jesus Vega as the leader of a Memphis drug trafficking organization supplying methamphetamine and heroin into and through West Tennessee.

On October 1, 2018, investigators intercepted and seized 31 pounds of methamphetamine in Vega's house located in Memphis. Other co-conspirators in the drug trafficking organization were also indicted, and have already been convicted and sentenced in this matter. Over the course of the investigation, agents in multiple states recovered over 400 pounds of methamphetamine and 5 kilograms of heroin, all either in Memphis or destined for the Memphis area.

On January 22, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker sentenced Vega to 121 months in federal prison followed by 5 years supervised release. After completion of his custodial sentence, Vega will be subject to deportation by U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement & Removal Operations (ERO).

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "West Tennessee is a major logistics hub for the country, and drug trafficking organizations transport large quantities into and through our communities. Because distribution of illegal narcotics is NOT a victimless crime, we use every available resource to disrupt and dismantle these conspiracies and hold them accountable for distributing poisonous illegal drugs that cause addiction, injury, and death. We commend the outstanding investigative work of our federal and local law

enforcement partners in this important case involving significant seizures of dangerous narcotics."

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force investigated this case.

This case was part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF), which seeks to investigate and prosecute large-scale drug trafficking and violence involving multiple districts across the United States.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Griffith prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. This case is part of the Heroin Initiative in collaboration with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office.


Updated January 24, 2020