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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Arizona

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Ann Birmingham Scheel, United States Attorney

Contact: Manny Tarango

Leader of Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Fifteen Years

TUCSON, Ariz. – Juan Carlos Delgado-Sagaste, 30, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge David C. Bury to 15 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to unlawfully export firearms, following a plea of guilty on September 6, 2011.

This collaborative investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement lead to the successful dismantling of a drug trafficking organization and seizure of its drugs and money, said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel. I commend all of the agencies for their work and for their commitment to making our community a safer place to live.

This sentencing closes the chapter on a significant and dangerous methamphetamine trafficking network whose tentacles stretched across northern Mexico to the neighboring cities of Arizona, said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge, Doug Coleman. These criminal organizations that prey upon the weak and addicted should know that the law enforcement partnerships in Arizona are solid, strong and willing to go the distance to make our communities safe for our citizens.

Delgado-Sagaste was the leader of a Tucson-based drug trafficking organization that imported methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States for distribution. His organization operated a number of stash houses in Tucson and Phoenix. Delgado-Sagaste had ties to an arms trafficking organization which illegally exported firearms into Mexico. A joint investigation by several federal agencies seized significant quantities of distribution-ready methamphetamine, hundreds of pounds of marijuana, 27 firearms, over 1700 rounds of ammunition, and over $50,000 in bulk currency.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Oro Valley Police Department, the Marana Police Department, the Sahuarita Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the Tucson Counter-Narcotics Alliance, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The prosecution was handled by James T. Lacey and Robert A. Fellrath, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle K. Spaven.

RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-271(Delgado-Sagaste)