Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mexican National Sentenced for Role in Drug Conspiracy

COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Adrian Cienfuegos-Aguirre, age 32, of Guerrero, Mexico, was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment yesterday in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, after earlier pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., of Columbia, imposed the sentence, which will be followed by three years of supervised release.

Adrian Cienfuegos-Aguirre, who had no prior record, was one of over 116 defendants initially charged in 2009 following a series of court-authorized, FBI-monitored wiretaps over multiple telephones in the Columbia/Lexington area. Cienfuegos-Aguirre was a fugitive on the federal charge until his arrest at the Texas/Mexico border in September 2011. The evidence in the case indicated that Cienfuegos-Aguirre, a resident alien lawfully in the United States, was involved in the transportation of drug proceeds after the sale of kilogram quantities of cocaine and in maintaining a stash house for the drugs. Evidence presented in court showed that on January 21, 2009, following a multi-kilogram deal, which was under surveillance by agents, Cienfuegos-Aguirre was stopped in a vehicle with another co-defendant, and found in possession of $153,640, which was seized by law enforcement. All co-defendants have been convicted and sentenced, with the exception of one remaining fugitive in the indictment.

The case was investigated by agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Columbia Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

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