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Friday, 30 December 2011

Jose Lopez-Buelna, aka "Miguel," 51, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Erik Dushawn Webster, 47, was sentenced to 25 years

17:33 | , ,

Jose Lopez-Buelna, aka "Miguel," 51, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Erik Dushawn Webster, 47, was sentenced to 25 years by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.

They were also sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Lopez-Buelna pleaded guilty on Feb. 16, 2011, to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more cocaine, conspiracy to launder money and two counts of money laundering.

Webster was convicted by a federal jury on Feb. 18 of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.

At the sentencing hearings, the court found the drug distribution conspiracy in this case involved 150 kilograms or more of cocaine.

According to court documents and testimony, Lopez-Buelna and co-defendant Jesus Gastelum recruited various individuals, including Webster, to drive motor homes outfitted with lead-lined, hidden compartments throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada beginning in 2007.

The hidden compartments were used to conceal drugs and money.

The drivers would make stops in various destinations, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Montreal.

Gastelum, who faces drug and money laundering charges, is currently a fugitive.

Another co-defendant, Adolph Vargas, pleaded guilty to charges in January 2011 to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of money laundering was sentenced in November to 87 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

The court recovered two recreational vehicles, two semi-automatic pistols, various other vehicles and more than $4 million during the course of the investigation.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Division.

The case was prosecuted by Mary Woelfle and Margaret Honrath of the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Gang Section.

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