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FEDS: Ohio man was ringleader for Sinaloa Cartel fentanyl operation

October 10, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FEDS: Ohio man was ringleader for Sinaloa Cartel fentanyl operation

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An Ohio man accepted a plea deal last week in federal court for his participation in a drug trafficking enterprise associated with Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.

U.S. Justice Department officials announced in a press release that as part of the plea agreement, 24-year-old Donte Holdbrook admitted that he organized shipments of fentanyl with Sinaloa Cartel operatives to be delivered into the Middletown, Ohio area.

After police pulled him over, officers found 366 grams of the lethal drug in his possession.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl is sufficient to kill an individual. In this case, Holdbrook had enough of the substance to kill over 150,000 people.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio considered Holdbrook to be the enterprise’s “ringleader” with ties to the Sinaloa cartel, the largest drug trafficking organization in the world.

Holdbrook was among 12 suspects charged by a federal grand jury in Cincinnati in early 2018. The group purportedly distributed fentanyl that was smuggled into the country from Mexico.

Jose Lopez-Albarran, who has been charged in federal court in California, is accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars in drug proceeds between 2015 and 2018.

The investigation was initiated after undercover DEA agents learned Lopez-Albarran, a senior Sinaloa Cartel operative, had arranged multiple bulk cash pickups from Ohio.

The nationwide probe ultimately led to the discovery of multiple cellsthroughout the country, including the one in Middletown.

Holdbrook’s guilty plea in the narcotics conspiracy means he’ll face between ten years to life in prison.

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