News Release
January 16, 2008

Two Illegal Aliens Sentenced to 5 Years Each for Drug Trafficking

– Joint investigation by federal, state, and local law enforcement
yields $100,000 of cocaine

JAN 16 -- LOUISVILLE, KY - Ricardo Zepeda-Valenzuela, age 21, of 133 West Main Street, Springfield, Kentucky, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, and Jose Luis Castro-Lopez, age 22, of the same address, in Washington County, was also sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in United States District Court, Louisville, Kentucky, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. Thomas B. Russell, Judge, United States District Court, also sentenced Zepeda-Valenzuela and Castro-Lopez to 5 years supervised release following incarceration. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

Zepeda-Valenzuela and Castro-Lopez are both illegal aliens, who are subject to deportation after serving their sentences.

U.S. Attorney Huber praised the cooperation of the Springfield Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Kentucky State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. “They all worked together to maintain surveillance of the suspects, monitor and control the drug transaction, protect the informant, and conduct the arrest in a safe and secure manner.”

Zepeda-Valenzuela and Castro-Lopez both pled guilty and admitted that on January 19, 2007, in Springfield, Kentucky, they jointly possessed approximately one kilogram of cocaine hydrochloride with the intent to distribute it to a confidential informant working for the police. The street value of the cocaine in this case is approximately $100,000.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Larry Fentress, and it was investigated by the Kentucky State Police, the Springfield Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.