Leader of Mexican drug cartel living in Kentucky sentenced for drug trafficking

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Mexican citizen living illegally in Georgetown was sentenced to 31 years in prison last week in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Ciro Macias Martinez was sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, in August 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Martinez, along with several others, for their roles in a drug trafficking and money laundering organization operating in Central Kentucky, which was tied to Mexican drug cartels.

Prosecutors say Martinez was the local head of the organization and responsible for distributing large amounts of drugs, including cocaine, heroin and a very pure form of methamphetamine – commonly referred to as “ice.”

They say Martinez would collect the money and send it back to Mexico.

During the investigation, the DEA, Lexington Police Department and the Kentucky State Police, seized around $1.2 million.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 23-year-old Arlenne Sosa and 23-year-old Laura Ortiz also pleaded guilty in connection to the case. Sosa was sentenced to three years and Ortiz was sentenced to four years.

Another defendant, 21-year-old Smirna Ortiz, was convicted in July 2018 and will be sentenced on November 2, 2018. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

After serving his sentence, Martinez will face deportation to Mexico.

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