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Press Release

Mexican Citizen Sentenced to 48 Months for Possessing Methamphetamine for Distribution

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

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Jose A. Mendoza-Cortez, 32, a citizen of Mexico found in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 48 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  Mendoza-Cortez pleaded guilty to this charge on November 2, 2021. 

On February 24, 2021, a trooper with the Wisconsin State Patrol stopped a vehicle on Interstate 94 in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.  While talking to the driver, the trooper smelled the odor of marijuana and alcohol coming from the car. He also saw an open bottle of beer on the floor between the passenger’s legs.  During an interview, the passenger, identified as Mendoza-Cortez, admitted to having marijuana in the center console.  The trooper searched the car and saw marijuana debris on the floor and a marijuana blunt in the center cup holder.  As the officer continued his search, he found 20 gallon-sized plastic bags in the trunk, each containing between 372 grams and 475 grams of a crystalline substance.  The total amount of the substance weighed approximately 20 pounds and tested positive for methamphetamine.

During a post-arrest interview with investigators, Mendoza-Cortez admitted that someone paid him and the driver to transport the drugs from Minnesota to Ohio.

At sentencing, Judge Conley explained that the amount of methamphetamine Mendoza-Cortez possessed could have caused a staggering amount of damage to the community.  The driver, Gregorio Arreola Mendoza, has also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine for distribution and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Conley on April 5.

The charge against Mendoza-Cortez was the result of an investigation conducted by Wisconsin State Patrol, West Central Drug Task Force, Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chadwick M. Elgersma prosecuted this case. 

Updated March 25, 2022

Drug Trafficking