Cocaine Traffickers Appear Headed For Prison
By Mike Perleberg
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – A prison sentence of up to 50 years awaits a man who has been convicted of Dealing in Cocaine Over Three Grams and Conspiracy to Deal in a Narcotic Drug.
David Reyes-Valdes was found guilty on both Class A felony charges during a Dearborn County jury trial which ended March 21, according to the Dearborn County Prosecutor’s Office. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30 in Dearborn Superior Court II by Judge Sally Blankenship.
Reyes-Valdes was arrested following an investigation last year by Indiana State Police and officers with the Hamilton County (Ohio) Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit. The Indiana trooper, James Wells, stopped two vehicles on Interstate 74 on October 18. A Chevrolet driven by Manual Maldonado, 26, of Cicero, Illinois, was allegedly found to contain two kilograms – or about 4.4 pounds – of cocaine hidden in a trunk compartment. Travelling with Maldonado in a second vehicle was Adalberto Raygoza, 26, also of Cicero.
The intended recipient, investigators testified, was Reyes-Valdes, who went by the nickname “Ocho.” According to an affidavit, Reyes-Valdes was awaiting the shipment of the cocaine at a hotel in Cincinnati. The meeting place was changed to a restaurant in Cincinnati, where officers took Reyes-Valdes into custody when he arrived.
Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said that among the items recovered during the investigation was a drug ledger indicating this was a significant criminal drug trafficking organization.
“Chicago is one of the largest hubs of drug trafficking in the world and as a result I-74 serves as a pipeline trafficking drugs like heroin and cocaine from the Cartel into Cincinnati where it is sold to people from Dearborn County and the tri-State area. We are very fortunate to have officers like Trooper Wells fighting to get this poison off the streets. We also appreciate the assistance of the RENU officers who did an excellent job with this investigation,” Negangard said in a news release.
Adalberto Raygoza pleaded guilty to an amended charge of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Cocaine (Class B felony) before his case went to trial last month in Dearborn Superior Court II. Blankenship sentenced him on March 27 to 20 years with 10 years suspended to probation, according to court records. He must also pay a $1,000 drug interdiction fee.
Manual Maldonado also reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, though not until after trial proceedings had started in Dearborn Superior Court II. Details of the agreement are not known. His sentencing is scheduled for April 16.