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Cuban gets 12 years for coke trafficking plot

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Cuban gets 12 years for coke trafficking plot

Man planned to buy drugs in Tucson to sell in Fla.

A 39-year-old Cuban immigrant was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison Monday for his role in a plan to move cocaine from Tucson to Miami, Fla., the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Evelio Cervantes-Conde, who was living in the country legally, was convicted on May 27 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms of cocaine and attempt to possess cocaine, said Manny Tarango, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

In March 2009, DEA received information from sources in Mexico that a man identified as Michel Martinez wanted to buy cocaine. Over the course of a few weeks, undercover agents spoke with Martinez and co-conspirator, Hiraldo Neyra-Agramonte — both Cuban immigrants in the United States legally — about a deal, Tarango said.

By April 9, Cervantes-Conde, Martinez and Neyra-Agramonte agreed to purchase 5 kilograms of the drug for $90,000 from the undercover agents, with the deal scheduled for April 14 in Tucson. The three were arrested at the scene of the planned buy, Tarango said.

Evidence at trial showed they intended to turn the cocaine into crack and sell it in Miami for $40,000. The three also indicated they wanted a continuing supply that would come into Tucson from Mexico, Tarango said.

Martinez and Neyra-Agramonte were previously tried and convicted. Martinez was given a 12 ½-year prison sentence and Neyra-Agramonte received a 10-year sentence, Tarango said.

“This defendant and his co-conspirators attempted to carry out an ill-conceived plan that would have resulted in illicit drugs being trafficked through Tucson and ultimately ending up on the streets of Miami, Florida,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel in the release. “But for this defendant and his co-conspirators their foiled plan will land them in a federal prison for the next decade.”

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