GAINESVILLE — A federal court judge has handed down stiff sentences to three illegal immigrants caught transporting 1,600 pounds of marijuana in a tractor trailer last spring. The drugs, which have a street value of $3.1 million, were found hidden under a load of green vegetables while the rig was parked on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Gainesville.
Forty-three-year-old Jose Luis Chavez-Morfin was sentenced to 5 years, 10 months in prison, 54-year-old Angel Zamudio-Martinez was sentenced to 4 years, 2 months and 19 year old Marco Ortiz-Barajas was sentenced to 3 years. Each defendant will be deported to Mexico upon completion of their sentence.
Assistant United States Attorney Ellen Endrizzi said the sentences are a reminder that drug trafficking carries with it serious consequences and no community is immune from its presence or potentially destructive effects.
Three other individuals facing charges in the case will be prosecuted at the county level.
The bust was a result of an undercover operation by local, state and federal authorities.
Copyright Glory 1330 2013