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Meth dealer gets 50 years in prison

A Tucson man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, officials said Thursday. Thaddaeus Sanchez Ruelas sold more than 600 grams of methamphetamine to undercover officers and informants over five months.

Ruelas was sentenced to 50 years and six months in prison, after being found guilty by a jury in June on 19 felony counts.

Ruelas, called a "five-time convicted felon" by authorities, was convicted on charges of conspiracy, transportation for sale of methamphetamine, possession of heroin and cocaine, use of wire communications in drug transactions, and misconduct involving weapons, a news release from the Arizona Attorney General's Office said.

"Ruelas sold more than 600 grams of methamphetamine to police informants and undercover agents between Dec, 11, 2014, and April 8, 2015," the release said.

The case was investigated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Drug Enforcement Agency, and prosecuted by state authorities.

"The good people of Tucson can sleep easier tonight knowing that this violent habitual offender is off the streets," ATF Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry said in the release.

"Drug traffickers operating in our neighborhoods will continue to be priority targets,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Standing together with our law enforcement partners at ATF and DEA, we remain committed to putting these dangerous criminals behind bars."

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Thaddaeus Ruelas