News Release
Date: April 24, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Number: 602 664-5725

DEA Investigation Results in Long Sentence for Cocaine Courier

April 24 (Phoenix, AZ) – John Edward Gibbons, 66, of Coarsegold, Calif. was sentenced on April 23, 2012, by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 12.5 years in federal prison. Following a bench trial on Dec. 13-14, 2011, Judge Teilborg found Gibbons guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

The evidence at trial showed that the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a long-term investigation into the Castro-Perez Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO). Gibbons, and his wife, Lisa Sayamontry, were hired to serve as drug couriers for a customer of the Castro-Perez DTO. Gibbons and Sayamontry came to Arizona from California, picked up kilogram quantities of cocaine in Phoenix, and delivered it to customers in Atlanta, Georgia.

On July 21, 2010, following a traffic stop of their truck conducted by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety on I-17 near Black Canyon City, both defendants were arrested in possession of 15 kilograms of cocaine, valued in Ariz. at approximately $18,000.00 per kilogram. Subsequent to the traffic stop, law enforcement officers found a firearm registered to Sayamontry in the truck.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Tempe Police Department, the Mesa Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Jonell L. Lucca and William H. Bryan III, Assistant United States Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.