A man from Mexico who was living in Hickory was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release on drug-conspiracy charges.

Ricardo Cervantes-Sanchez, 40, was a multi-kilogram-level distributor of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. He operated mainly out of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Cervantes-Sanchez’s co-defendant, Raymundo Villarreal, 22, of Newton, was sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of supervised release for his role in the drug conspiracy.

Cervantes-Sanchez and Villarreal were part of a drug distribution ring responsible for trafficking methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in western North Carolina centered in and around Catawba County, according to the release.

The conspiracy extended from North Carolina to Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, California, Illinois, Mexico and elsewhere, and involved the trafficking of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics, according to the release. Several defendants received sentencing enhancements for their possession of firearms during the conspiracy.

In addition to Cervantes-Sanchez and Villarreal, to date, 15 additional defendants involved in the drug ring have been sentenced to prison, according to the release.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Load comments