By Amanda Gambill
A courier working for a Mexican drug organization was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville to 51 months in prison for conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine and 100 kilograms of marijuana.
According to court documents, Juan Carlos Botello-Salinas, 47, was believed to be the “transporter of multi-kilograms of cocaine and drug proceeds between Texas and the Nashville, Tennessee area” for the drug organization.
He was arrested on March 2011 in Brownsville, Texas, and pleaded guilty in November 2012.
He is one of 18 defendants in this case. Four others have been sentenced, and nine have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. According to Assistant U.S. District Attorney Brent Hannafan, two have yet to plea and two have yet to be arrested. The investigation used a confidential informant and wiretaps to arrest the suspects.
“I would like to apologize to the United States and Nashville,” Botello-Salinas said to the court through a Spanish language translator Friday. “I take responsibility for all I did … I did it for the financial situation of my family … I would like to be a person who is useful to my family.”
Chief Judge William J. Haynes Jr. recommended for him to receive substance abuse treatment and vocational training while incarcerated as close to Brownsville as possible.
Botello-Salinas will be deported to Mexico shortly after serving his sentence.
Amanda Gambill is with Seigenthaler News Service – MTSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.