Lexington, KY- Two Mexican Nationals, illegally residing in the U.S., and one Nicholasville, Ky., man, who previously admitted to transporting more than 100 kilograms of marijuana from Phoenix, Az., to Nicholasville, Ky., were sentenced on Thursday.
U.S. District Court Judge Karen Caldwell sentenced, Fabian Zavala-Romero, 42, Jonathan Mendoza-Ricardo, 30, and Jesus Sabino Castro-Quinones, 38, to 68 months, 68 months, and 60 months respectively. Another defendant involved in the case, Fabian Noperi, 35, is scheduled for sentencing in October.
According to plea agreements, Zavala, Castro, Noperi, and Mendoza, admitted that they conspired to transport marijuana from Phoenix to Nicholasville for the purpose of distributing the marijuana in Kentucky. The amount of marijuana they intended to distribute was more than 100 kilograms.
Under federal law, Zavala, Castro, and Mendoza must serve 85 percent of their prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 4 years.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Steven L. Igyarto, Resident Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations, and Todd Justice, Chief of Police for Nicholasville Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Nicholasville Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Tanner Bradley.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.