News Release
Date: January 22, 2009
Contact: Rich Isaacson
Number: (313) 234-4310

Two Non U.S. Citizens Plead Guilty in Eight Kilogram Cocaine Conspiracy
- $182,000 seized by DEA during investigation

JAN 22 -- LOUISVILLE, KY - , U.S. Attorney David L. Huber of the Western District of Kentucky announced today that on January 20, 2009, Jose Alfaro Mendez, a non United States citizen, and Ciricao Carranco Lucio, also a non United States citizen, entered guilty pleas for conspiracy to attempt to possess and distribute more than eight kilograms of cocaine.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, both defendants, Mendez and Lucio, admitted that on June 12, 2008, they intended to arrange the purchase of eight kilograms of cocaine for $21,500 a kilogram from co-defendants, Steven Lee Fowler Jr., of Louisville, Kentucky, and Paul Eugene Smith, of Louisville, Kentucky. When Mendez and Smith arrived at a predetermined location to exchange the money for the cocaine, they were arrested by special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with the co-defendants. The special agents recovered in excess of $182,000 from Smith and Fowler. During the plea, Mendez admitted that he had previously sold kilogram quantities of cocaine to Smith and Fowler.

Defendants Mendez and Lucio each face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, a $4,000,000.00 fine, and supervised release for a period of 8 years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon, and it was investigated by the DEA.

Mendez is scheduled for sentencing on April 23, 2009, and Lucio’s sentencing is slated for May 18, 2009. Both sentencings will take place before United States District Judge, Jennifer B. Coffman, in Louisville, Kentucky.