Suspected trafficker of cocaine from Mexico pleads guilty in Dakota Co.
- Article by: Paul Walsh
- Star Tribune
- September 11, 2013 - 8:34 AM
An Inver Grove Heights man, suspected of funneling cocaine from Mexico to the Twin Cities, has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Authorities said that the cocaine seizure this summer in the case against Michael Sanchez and a co-conspirator is one of the largest in Dakota County history.
Sanchez, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree drug possession Tuesday and was sentenced in district court to eight years and two months in prison. The case against co-defendant Josue Ledezma-Lopez, 22, is pending. He remains jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
“This case involved one of the largest seizures of cocaine ever to occur in Dakota County, along with a significant amount of methamphetamine,” said County Attorney James Backstrom.
The 6 pounds of cocaine seized in this case is more than three times the amount of the drug seized in the county in all of 2012, authorities said.
According to the criminal complaint against Sanchez:
The Dakota County Drug Task Force learned that Sanchez was trafficking in large amounts of drugs directly from Mexico.
In late July, a confidential informant ordered meth and cocaine from Sanchez, and delivery to Brooklyn Park was arranged.
A state trooper pulled over Sanchez in Golden Valley as he was headed to the delivery. There was more than 2 pounds of cocaine in the car.
Investigators searched Sanchez’s home in the 8400 block of Atlas Avenue later that day. Authorities found more cocaine, as well as almost 3 pounds of meth, about an ounce of marijuana and $22,000 in cash. Ledezma-Lopez was there and was arrested.
Authorities said the cocaine had a street value of about $120,000; the meth about $30,000.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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