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Drug cartel leader living in Kentucky sentenced to 31 years in federal prison

October 2, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Drug cartel leader living in Kentucky sentenced to 31 years in federal prison Ciro Macias Martinez (Handout)

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A federal district court judge sentenced a purported leader of a Mexican drug cartel illegally residing in Georgetown, Kentucky to 31 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky said 32-year-old Mexican national Ciro Macias Martinez was sentenced last week after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Lexington to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Federal prosecutors say U.S. Drug Enforcement agents began investigating Martinez, along with several others in 2016, for their roles in a drug trafficking and money laundering network based in Central Kentucky.

Law enforcement officials said the drug trafficking ring had deep ties to a drug cartel in Mexico.

DEA and local police had identified Martinez during the investigation as the regional head of the organization that oversaw the large-scale distribution of illegal narcotics, including heroin, cocaine and a crystallized form of methamphetamine.

According to a Justice Department press release, Martinez was responsible for collecting illegal proceeds and using a variety of methods to export the drug cash back to Mexico.

Officials said the DEA-led joint investigation, involving the Lexington Police Department and the Kentucky State Police, yielded the cash seizure of $1.2 million.

Martinez pled guilty in the case along with fellow co-conspirators, 23-year-old Laura Ortiz, and 23-year-old Arlenne Sosa.

As a result, Ortiz was handed four years in prison while Sosa was sentenced to 3 years.

A fourth co-conspirator, identified as 21-year-old Smirna Ortiz, faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in July 2018.

In addition, Martinez will be deported back to Mexico upon completion of his term of incarceration.

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