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Mexican citizen sentenced for possessing methamphetamine for distribution

MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) -A Mexican citizen has been sentenced for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute after being stopped on I94 in Eau Claire County.

According to a release by the Office of Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, a citizen of Mexico identified as 32-year-old Jose A. Mendoza-Cortez, but found in Eau Claire County, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 48 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The release says that Mendoza-Cortez pleaded guilty to this charge on Nov. 2, 2021.

According to the release the Office of Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, on Feb. 24, 2021, a Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper stopped a vehicle on I94 in Eau Claire County. The release says while talking to the driver of the vehicle the Trooper smelled the odor of marijuana and alcohol coming from the vehicle. The Trooper also saw an open bottle of beer on the floor of the car between the passenger’s legs.

According to the release by the Office of Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, in an interview with authorities Mendoza-Cortez admitted to having marijuana in the center console. The trooper searched the car and saw marijuana debris on the floor and a marijuana blunt in the center cup holder.  Additionally, the officer found 20 gallon-sized plastic bags in the trunk of the car which each contained between 372 grams and 475 grams of a crystalline substance.

The release by the Office of Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, says the total amount of the substance that tested positive for methamphetamine weighed about 20 pounds. In a post-arrest interview with authorities, Mendoza-Cortez admitted that someone paid him as well as the driver to transport the drugs from Minn. to Ohio.

At Mendoza-Cortez’s sentencing, Judge Conley noted the amount of methamphetamine Mendoza-Cortez had in his possession could have caused a “staggering amount of damage to the community.”

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Gregorio Arreola Mendoza, also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine for distribution and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Conley on April 5.

The charge against Mendoza-Cortez was the result of an investigation conducted by Wisconsin State Patrol, West Central Drug Task Force, Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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