News Release
October 25, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for
Drug Trafficking and Firearm Possession

Over one ton of marijuana and a fully loaded automatic machine gun discovered in vehicle

OCT 25
-- TUCSON, Ariz. - Manuel Ochoa-Cota, 33, of Mexico, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to15 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

        On May 21, 2009, Ochoa-Cota was apprehended by law enforcement agents while attempting to flee a vehicle that had run off the road near Arivaca, Ariz.  Inside the vehicle, agents found 118 bales of marijuana weighing a total of 1,273 kilograms or 2800 pounds. Agents also discovered a fully loaded automatic machine gun in the vehicle.

        Ochoa-Cota pleaded guilty on July 23, 2010, and admitted that he conspired with others to knowingly possess the marijuana with intent to distribute it, and that he knowingly possessed the machine gun in furtherance of his drug trafficking offense.

        The investigation leading to the conviction was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and United States Border Patrol.  The prosecution was handled by Angela Woolridge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

# # #