U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Arizona
District of Arizona
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 27, 2011
Dennis K. Burke, United States Attorney
Contact: Robbie Sherwood, Public Affairs
Members of Home Invasion Crew Sentenced to 15 and 12.5 Years in Prison
TUCSON, Ariz. — Adalberto Sonoqui, 29, of Tucson, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, and Manuel Urrea, 38, also of Tucson, has been sentenced 12.5 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins handed down the sentences on Friday.
This case was initiated when The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned that a co–defendant of Sonoqui and Urrea, Carlos Diaz, was interested in conducting home invasions of houses that contained large amounts of marijuana in order to steal it and sell it. Tucson Police Department officers, acting in an undercover capacity, met with Diaz and Urrea to orchestrate such a home invasion. Diaz and Urrea told the undercover officers that they had a crew of individuals ready to commit a home invasion and steal 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of marijuana, and that their crew would be armed with guns and ready to shoot the occupants of the home.
On January 27, 2009, Urrea, Diaz, Sonoqui, and five additional co–defendants arrived to conduct the home invasion. Urrea had recruited Sonoqui and one other co–defendant to conduct the home invasion, and brought two loaded firearms with him. Sonoqui drove himself, Urrea, and another co–defendant to the location where all of the defendants had planned to meet up to conduct the home invasion. In Sonoqui’s vehicle were the two loaded firearms brought by Urrea as well as a third loaded firearm. At the meeting location, all eight of the defendants confirmed that they were armed and ready to commit a home invasion for the purpose of stealing a load of marijuana. The defendants were all subsequently arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Four of the eight co–defendants pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to at least five years prison. Urrea, Sonoqui, Diaz, and co–defendant Juan Meraz were all convicted on December 27, 2010, following a jury trial. Sonoqui had also been previously convicted of a drug trafficking offense in 2002. Diaz was sentenced to 12.5 years prison on March 14, 2001, and Meraz was sentenced to 15 years prison on May 16, 2011.
The investigation leading to the conviction was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Tucson Police Department; with assistance from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. The prosecution was handled by Angela Woolridge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
CASE NUMBER: CR 09–0284–TUC–RCC
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011–131(Sonoqui)