A Twin Cities drug dealer who authorities say was one of the biggest methamphetamine traffickers in the state was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 25 years in prison.

Alejandro Llamas-Delgado, 24, of Brooklyn Center, was convicted of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office announced.

Llamas-Delgado’s sentencing comes in the wake of an emerging meth crisis in Minnesota, which has become a trafficking hub for the Upper Midwest over the past five years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Hollenhorst said in a statement that “Llamas-Delgado’s arrest and conviction played a significant role in disrupting a major drug trafficking organization responsible for the distribution of hundreds of pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine ... over a three-year period.”

Llamas-Delgado’s co-conspirators from Texas, Gregorio Ramirez-Maldonado, 28, and Erick Parra-Salazar, 24, were found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

According to a news release, Llamas-Delgado led and operated a drug-trafficking network that transported meth and cocaine from Texas and California to Minnesota from 2014 to 2017 before his arrest.

In 2014, law enforcement agents in California seized 17 pounds of cocaine and 25 pounds of meth in hidden compartments under the front seat of a Mini Cooper that was loaded into a vehicle-transport carrier destined for Llamas-Delgado, according to the news release.

Last spring, law enforcement agents conducted surveillance of several residences and seized $40,000, 28 pounds of marijuana, 750 grams of cocaine, a firearm and drug-trafficking paraphernalia.

It was shown in court that Ramirez-Maldonado and Parra-Salazar both helped Llamas-Delgado move 2 kilograms of cocaine from Texas to the Twin Cities in 2014.

Ramirez-Maldonado was sentenced to five years in prison, while Parra-Salazar awaits his sentencing scheduled for Friday.

 

Trevor Squire is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.