News Release
Date: March 23, 2009
Contact: Rich Isaacson
Number: (313) 234-4310

Three Men Sentenced for Roles in Large Cocaine Conspiracy
DEA Operation Leads to Seizure of $182,000 in Drug Money

MAR 23 -- LOUISVILLE, KY - Acting U.S. Attorney Candace G. Hill of the Western District of Kentucky announced today that Steven Lee Fowler, Jr., age 35, of Louisville, Kentucky, was sentenced to 13 years in prison; Paul Eugene Smith, age 31, of Louisville, Kentucky was sentenced to 10 years in prison; and Jose Alfaro Mendez, age 28, a foreign national, was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by 5 years supervised release. The three men were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman for their roles in a conspiracy to attempt to possess and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

The defendants were sentenced pursuant to plea agreements in which they admitted that on June 12, 2008, Smith and Fowler intended to purchase eight kilograms of cocaine for $21,500.00 a kilogram from the co-defendants, Jose Alfaro Mendez and Ciricao Carranco Lucio. All of the defendants were unaware that the transaction was being observed by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agents. When defendants Smith, Fowler, and Mendez arrived at a predetermined location to exchange the money for the cocaine, they, along with the co-defendant Luccio, were arrested by the DEA. The DEA recovered in excess of $182,000.00 from defendants, Smith and Fowler. During the plea, both Smith and Fowler admitted that they had previously purchased kilogram quantities of cocaine from defendant, Mendez.

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

The defendant, Ciricao Carranco Lucio, is scheduled for sentencing on May 18, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. before the United States Judge, Jennifer B. Coffman, in Louisville, Kentucky.

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The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.