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Latest news: 01-23-09

3 lb meth deal leads to decade in prison

SIOUX CITY -- A Sioux City man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced to federal prison today.

United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett sentenced Noe Sanchez-Ruiz to 10 years' imprisonment.

In Oct., Sanchez-Ruiz, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa said in a statement that on Nov. 27, Sanchez-Ruiz distributed approximately three pounds of methamphetamine to an informant.

In addition to the prison term, Sanchez-Ruiz must serve a five-year term of supervised release and pay a special assessment of $200. He is being held in United States Marshal's custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

From The Sioux City Journal

Sheriff's team reports rash of meth labs found

SNELLING -- Four methamphetamine lab dumps were discovered in less than a week in Merced County recently, sheriff's officials reported Thursday.

Detective Paul Barile of the sheriff's Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) said the dumps were all found in rural areas. Two of the dumps were found in Ballico on Jan. 15, one was discovered Saturday in the Hilmar/Stevinson area, while the fourth was found Tuesday in the Snelling area.

The dump found near Snelling was so large, cleanup costs are expected to surpass $10,000, Barile said.

Barile said the labs indicate a recent increase in meth labs locally. In 2007, 72 dump sites and two meth labs were discovered in Merced County. Last year, those numbers rose to 85 dump sites and 13 labs found.

The increase, according to law enforcement officials, is due to drug cartels focusing on producing meth in California, rather than producing it in Mexico and trying to smuggle it across the border. "We're seeing a definite increase in everything," Barile said.
From The Merced Sun-Star

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