Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 30, 2017
Tennessee Man Sentenced to 188 Months for Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Conspiracies in Central Kentucky
Defendant conspired to distribute more than two thousand pounds of marijuana
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Tennessee man has been sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute massive quantities of marijuana and cocaine in central Kentucky and conspiring to launder approximately one million dollars in drug proceeds.
On Thursday, January 26, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell sentenced Benito Segura Tovar, 34, of Knoxville, Tenn. Under federal law, Tovar must serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence.
Segura Tovar admitted that he conspired with Edgar Villa Castanedaand Miguel Salas, both of Lexington, Ky., and others to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and over 1,000 kilograms – roughly 2,200 pounds – of marijuana between August 2014 and February 2015. The cocaine was supplied in part by Raul Garcia Valencia of Atlanta, Ga.
The defendants distributed the drugs in Tennessee, Georgia, and central Kentucky, including Fayette, Madison and Montgomery Counties. Segura Tovar also admitted that he, Villa Castaneda, and Salas conspired to launder over one million dollars in drug proceeds.
Law enforcement seized approximately four kilograms of cocaine, 150 pounds of marijuana, several firearms, and approximately $1,000,0000 in bulk cash during the investigation.
Villa Castaneda and Salas pleaded guilty last year. Castaneda was sentenced to 204 months’ imprisonment; Salas was sentenced to 174 months’ imprisonment. Garcia Valencia was convicted at trial in June 2016 and sentenced to 160 months’ imprisonment.
Carlton S. Shier, IV., Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division, DEA; Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Division, FBI; Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Division, ATF; Richard W. Sanders, Kentucky State Police; and Mark Barnard, Chief of Lexington Police, jointly made the announcement today.
The investigation was conducted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Lexington, Ky. OCDETF is an initiative focusing on significant national and international drug trafficking and money laundering criminal organizations. The investigation was coordinated by DEA with the assistance of FBI, KSP, Lexington Police Department, and ATF. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr., and Assistant United States Attorney G. Todd Bradbury.