Supplier in Pot Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
COLUMBUS, OH—Jose Eduardo Islas, 41, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for supplying thousands of pounds of marijuana for distribution in the Columbus area.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS); Kevin Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott; and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the sentence imposed today by Senior U.S. District Judge James L. Graham.
According to court documents, investigators identified Islas as the source of supply for significant quantities of marijuana and cocaine coming into Columbus. Islas is one of seven people charged in March 2013 with conspiring to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Islas pleaded guilty on August 7, 2013, to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Other defendants convicted as a result of the investigation include:
- Jesus Galindo Corrales, 36, Tucson, Arizona, who was sentenced on April 11, 2014, to 72 months in prison.
- Quentin Jefferson, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced on April 10, 2014, to 60 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana and one count of money laundering.
- Bryan T. Jones, 34, of Columbus, was sentenced on October 25, 2013, to 18 months in prison.
- Adrian Raul Islas, 33, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced on April 11, 2014, to 27 months in prison.
- Chad A. Goggans, 41, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, was sentenced on April 11, 2014, to 27 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- Carlton E. Jones, 41, of Columbus, pleaded guilty on July 22, 2013, to conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is scheduled for sentencing on June 26, 2014.
- Patrick Stinson Edwards, 49, of Columbus, pleaded guilty on February 7, 2014, to one count of conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for June 13, 2014.
- Kenyatta Meadows, 50, of Columbus, pleaded guilty on February 7, 2014, to one count of conspiracy. He is awaiting sentencing.
Investigators found that Jones operated a used car lot in Columbus, Unlimited Auto Group. Islas generated loads of marijuana that were delivered to a warehouse at the car lot. Specifically, on February 2012, a load of approximately 4,800 pounds of marijuana and in June 2012, a shipment of 3,000 pounds were delivered by a semi-truck. On October 20, 2012, investigators apprehended them with a load of 1,600 pounds of marijuana.
Jones deposited large sums of currency into the bank accounts of Unlimited Auto Group. Some of this currency came directly from Islas and was derived from the sale of narcotics.
Islas purchased a 2008 BMW 750 Alpina with a check from Unlimited Auto Group and also titled it in the name of Unlimited Auto Group. Also, Jones used the drug proceeds from Islas to purchase a 2007 Volvo semi-truck and a 2004 Wabash Reefer trailer that were registered by Goggans in the name of his business, Goggans Inc., and eventually titled them in the name of a legitimate trucking company. The semi-truck and trailer were used to transport both marijuana and the proceeds from the sale of marijuana.
During the investigation, agents executed numerous search warrants and recovered hundreds of pounds more of marijuana, firearms, vehicles, and cash.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative long-term investigation by the FBI, IRS agents, Columbus Police officers, and Franklin County deputies, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Kelley and David DeVillers, who represented the United States in this case.
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