Texas cocaine trafficker sentenced to 25 years in prison

39-year-old was leader of 47-person cocaine trafficking conspiracy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 39-year-old Mission, Texas, man was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Amadeo Jaimes, the lead trafficker in a 47-person cocaine trafficking conspiracy, pleaded guilty to an indictment on Jan. 18. Forty-one others have already been arrested and convicted for participating in the conspiracy.

According to court documents, from 2008 through early 2010, Jaimes and his co-conspirators delivered more than 600 kilograms of cocaine from Mission, Texas, a border city between the United States and Mexico, to the Crescent City area in Florida. The cocaine was ultimately redistributed throughout central and northeast Florida.

Court records show that the conspirators shipped multiple quantities of cocaine into the region by concealing the drugs inside altered automobile parts and hidden compartments. Couriers for the trafficking operation were paid between $1,000 and $2,500 per trip.

In 2008, James Jones, who was previously sentenced to life in federal prison, was looking for a source of cocaine supply and was introduced to Jaimes via John Hegarty, previously sentenced to more than 13 years in federal prison. A short time thereafter, Jaimes shipped about 50 kilograms of cocaine to Satsuma and Deland. Jones and others re-sold portions of that cocaine to other Putnam County and Jacksonville cocaine traffickers, including Irvin Ashley and Freddie Valentine, both of whom are awaiting sentencing.

Over the ensuing several months, until April 2009, Jaimes continued to ship between 40 and 50 kilograms of cocaine at a time. From these shipments, Charles Jones obtained up to 15 kilograms of the 40 kilograms of cocaine. Cocaine traffickers working for Jaimes took the remaining kilograms of cocaine to other customers in the central Florida area.

At this same time, in late 2008 and up until April 2009, Jaimes also sent additional smaller multi-kilogram cocaine shipments to the Palatka area via two couriers, Emily Townsend, sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison, and Robert Jones, sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

On April 17, 2009, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and detectives from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office seized a total of 83 kilograms of cocaine and $87,170 from two houses in East Palatka, which were controlled by Charles Jones. Albertano Sanchez, sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison, and Charles Jones, among others, were arrested. The ensuing investigation revealed that the source of the cocaine was Jaimes.

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