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Mexican immigrant in U.S. illegally sentenced for fentanyl trafficking

Josue Morales-Medina, 41, of Mexico was sentenced to 108 months in prison in U.S. District Court on Tuesday for his role in trafficking heroin laced with fentanyl in the Miami Valley, according to a media release.

According to court documents, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers stopped a vehicle in which Morales-Medina was a passenger on Interstate 75 in Dayton in November 2015 for a traffic violation. Morales-Medina was found with $298,000 in cash.

Investigators later found in a home where Morales-Medina was staying, over eight kilograms of fentanyl, nearly one kilogram of heroin and a firearm.

Morales-Medina pleaded guilty in May to a count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Morales-Medina, a Mexican in the U.S. illegally, faces deportation at the conclusion of his prison sentence. According to previous comments from authorities, Morales-Medina had been deported three times before in criminal cases. He faced federal deportation charges in Nebraska in 2001 and Arizona in 2010, according to court records.

At the time of Morales-Medina’s arrest, authorities said it was another sign of Dayton’s place along a heroin pipeline from Mexico.

“Ohio is often the first drop-off point for other states,” Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said in November.

Authorities said Morales-Medina had been using houses in Harrison Township, Dayton and Shelby County for the safekeeping of the heroin and drug money. Federal, state and local drug agents served search warrants at three addresses, resulting in the seizure of the drugs, $150,000 in cash, weapons and paraphernalia.


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