News Release
January 19, 2010
Contact: Will Taylor
Number: 312-886-2597

Mexican Cocaine Trafficking Leader
Sentenced to 27 Years in Federal Prison

JAN 19 -- (Indianapolis) Jesus Manuel Fierro-Mendez, 47, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was sentenced on January 15, 2010, by U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Barker to 324 months in prison. Fierro-Mendez was sentenced subsequent to his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Fierro-Mendez’ arrest and prosecution was the result of a year-long investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The cocaine trafficking organization led by Fierro-Mendez operated out of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico between July 20, 2007 and August 29, 2007. Evidence in the DEA investigation revealed that Fierro-Mendez was a high-level operative in the Juarez Cartel. While Fierro-Mendez oversaw the transportation and distribution of cocaine, he also served as a police officer in the Puma unit in Juarez, Mexico. The Puma unit is a counter-narcotics task force operating within the Juarez police force.

The investigation revealed that Fierro-Mendez obtained multiple kilogram shipments of cocaine in Ciudad Juarez. He then directed others to transport the cocaine across the border to El Paso, Texas. Truck drivers working for the organization then transported shipments of cocaine from El Paso to Indianapolis. An additional organizational member received the shipments of cocaine in Indianapolis and then directed other members to deliver the cocaine to customers in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Akron, Ohio. Between late 2006 and August 29, 2007, Fierro-Mendez’ organization transported approximately fifty kilograms (110 pounds) of cocaine per week from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso before arriving in Indianapolis for further domestic distribution.

“This investigation ceased the operations of an organization that was responsible for smuggling and distributing 50 kilograms of cocaine per week throughout the mid-west. The Drug Enforcement Administration will continue to focus our resources on sophisticated drug trafficking organizations that oversee, coordinate, and facilitate the transportation and distribution of illegal drugs in our communities,” stated Stephen A. Luzinski, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's Chicago Field Division, which covers the state of Indiana.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Barker also imposed five years of supervised release following Fierro-Mendez’ release from prison. Fierro-Mendez is subject to deportation to Mexico upon completion of his prison sentence.