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January 30, 2017  
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: (313) 234-4310

Cocaine, Marijuana Trafficker in Kentucky Sentenced to 15+ Years

JAN 30 (LEXINGTON, Ky.) – A Tennessee man has been sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute massive quantities of marijuana and cocaine in central Kentucky,
and conspiring to launder approximately one million dollars in illegal drug proceeds. On Thursday, January 26th, 2017, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell handed down the sentence to Benito Segura Tovar, 34, of Knoxville, Tennessee. Under federal law, Tovar must serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence.

Segura Tovar admitted that he conspired with Edgar Villa Castaneda and Miguel Salas, both of Lexington, Kentucky, and others to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and over 2,200 pounds of marijuana between August 2014, and February 2015.

The cocaine was supplied in part by Raul Garcia Valencia of Atlanta, Georgia. The defendants distributed the drugs in Tennessee, Georgia, and central Kentucky. Segura Tovar also admitted that he, Villa Castaneda, and Salas conspired to launder over one million dollars in drug proceeds.

Law enforcement seized approximately four kilograms of cocaine, 150 pounds of marijuana, several firearms, and approximately $1 million in bulk cash during the investigation.

Villa Castaneda and Salas pled guilty last year. Villa Castaneda was sentenced to 204 months in prison, and Salas was sentenced to 174 months imprisonment. Garcia Valencia was convicted at trial in June 2016, and received a sentence of 160 months in prison. 

Carlton S. Shier, IV., Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky;
Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division, Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Division, FBI; Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Division, ATF; Richard W. Sanders, Kentucky State Police; and Mark Barnard, Chief of Lexington Police, jointly made the announcement today.

The investigation was conducted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task
Force (OCDETF) Lexington, Kentucky.  OCDETF is an initiative focusing on significant national and international drug trafficking and money laundering criminal organizations. The investigation was coordinated by DEA with the assistance of FBI, KSP, Lexington Police Department, and ATF.

The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr., and Assistant United States Attorney G. Todd Bradbury.


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