PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Five members of a drug trafficking organization were sentenced to prison yesterday by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton. The leader of the organization, Victor Manuel Leon-Sanchez, 29, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 19 years in prison. His second-in-command, Juan Ceniceros, 41, of Rosarito, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 15 years. Three other members, Javier Ceniceros 39 of Obispo, Culiacan, Mexico; Candelario Aispuro-Chavez, 38, of Portezuelo, Sinaloa, Mexico; and Jose Sanchez-Lopez, 22, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico; were sentenced to 10 years each. All of the defendants pleaded guilty in April 2008 to Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Cocaine.
During a court-authorized wiretap investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Glendale Police Department, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, authorities learned that the drug trafficking organization was involved in distributing significant quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. During searches on a number of stash houses in Glendale and Phoenix in September 2006 and August 2007, law enforcement officials seized $179,500 in cash, more than 12 kilograms of methamphetamine, 23 kilograms of cocaine, and five kilograms of marijuana. The searches of the various stash houses also revealed more than 60 firearms, ranging from handguns to assault-style weapons, and one ballistic vest.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Glendale Police Department, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The prosecution was handled by James Morse Jr. and Glenn McCormick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-06-0707
RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-186(Leon-Sanchez et al)