MINNEAPOLIS — One of 26 defendants, including a 34-year-old Swanville man, was sentenced Friday in connection with a Mexican-based drug cartel that distributed methamphetamine and cocaine throughout Minnesota from 2005-09.
United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Oscar Damian Limon to three years of probation on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Limon, who was indicted along with 26 codefendants on April 21, 2009, pleaded guilty on Sept. 11, 2009. At the direction of drug kingpin Roberto Guadalupe Aleman, the members of this conspiracy imported hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico, and then transported the cocaine from the Texas-Mexico border into the State of Minnesota for distribution and resale.
Limon’s 26 codefendants have pleaded guilty. All of them have now been sentenced. Nineteen of the codefendants were convicted of and sentenced for cocaine trafficking charges including Juan Fidel Aleman of Swanville in Morrison County. Aleman was sentenced to 120 months on June 24,24, 2011.
In their respective plea agreements, the 19 codefendants admitted conspiring to distribute between 500 grams and 150 kilograms of cocaine, as well as acquiring, packaging, preparing, and transporting cocaine, distributing it to customers, and collecting cash. In addition, several codefendants admitted making structured cash deposits of drug-trafficking proceeds. Intercepted telephone communications during the investigation revealed that the leaders of the Aleman Drug Trafficking Organization purchased cocaine directly from the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican-based drug-trafficking organization that traffics in cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin. The Gulf Cartel is a chief rival of the Sinaloa Cartel, another major Mexican-based drug- trafficking organization.
This case was the result of an investigation by the DEA, the ATF, the IRS, the Central Minnesota Drug Gang Task Force, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police Department, with assistance from the St. Paul Police Department, the St. Cloud Police Department, the Northwest Metro Task Force, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the South Central Drug Investigation Unit, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Duluth Police Department, and the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Jeffrey M. Bryan and Christian S. Wilton, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.