EAST ST. LOUIS – A man originally from Mexico was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison in a U.S. District Court on Wednesday after admitting to possessing hundreds of grams of a controlled substance containing fentanyl with intent to distribute.
Luciano Gomezllanos-Martinez, also known as Joaquin Navarez-Urena, pled guilty to possession of more than 400 grams of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and illegal reentry after deportation. In addition to his 46-month sentence, he must pay a $200 fine.
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According to court documents, Gomezllanos-Martinez was a passenger in a vehicle on Interstate 70 in Madison County when the car was pulled over by the Illinois State Police on Oct. 5, 2021. When officers searched the vehicle, they recovered pills containing 771 grams of fentanyl and 616 grams of heroin.
“Even the smallest amount of fentanyl can cause harm to an individual, and carting hundreds of grams through Madison County is a major threat to public safety in downstate Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Our community is fortunate to have brave men and women of law enforcement working to secure our roadways, and I applaud the investigators for filing these charges and apprehending the defendant.”
“Trafficking fentanyl is trafficking death and the ISP will pursue traffickers with everything we’ve got,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly.
The car was driven by Jimmy Carrasco of Arizona, and he is also facing a possession charge of more than 400 grams of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Previously, Gomezllanos-Martinez was deported from the U.S. in March 2017.
After serving his sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he will be deported. The DEA led the investigation with assistance from the Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Kapsak prosecuted the case.