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Methamphetamine and Heroin Traffickers Ordered to Prison

JUL 09 (LAREDO, Texas) - A total of four drug traffickers have been sentenced for their convictions related to a drug trafficking conspiracy involving methamphetamine and heroin, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Santos Arturo Ortiz, 28, Armando Bautista Jr., 30, Kenneth John Swisher, 56, and Alan Salinas, 28, all of Laredo, all previously pleaded guilty for their criminal conduct as did Juan Uxmal Villegas, 36, of San Antonio.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Ortiz a sentence of 168 months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Bautista and Salinas were also sentenced today to respective sentences of 120 and 124 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Swisher was sentenced earlier this week to a 120-month-term of imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy. Villegas will be sentenced Monday, July 13, 2015.

At the hearing, one of the defendants stated that “it was easy money.” In response, Judge Marmolejo noted “I hope that you come to the point in your life that you never consider transporting narcotics easy money.”

Ortiz would receive methamphetamine and heroin from an employee at a downtown Laredo fast food restaurant. The drugs would then be transported by co-conspirators to San Antonio where Villegas would distribute the narcotics in the local area.
Swisher was permitted to remain on bond, while the remaining defendants are in custody. 

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Christopher S. Coker and former AUSA Elizabeth Rabe prosecuted the case.

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