Mexican National Sentenced for Firearm and Drug Charges | USAO-NE

United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Jose Mena-Valdez, 36, of Mexico, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon for possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  Mena-Valdez received a sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment with a five-year term of supervised release to follow.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Mena-Valdez will be deported back to Mexico following his term of imprisonment.

Mena-Valdez was convicted on September 30, 2020, following a jury trial.  At trial, Omaha Police officers testified that on October 30, 2018, they stopped Mena-Valdez after observing several traffic violations.  Mena-Valdez was alone in the vehicle.  When making contact with Mena-Valdez, the officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol and observed an open container of alcohol.  During a search of the vehicle, half a pound of methamphetamine was located on the passenger side floorboard and a stolen firearm was located between the passenger seat and the center console.  The jury watched video and audio recordings of the encounter that were taken from body and cruiser cameras.

In addition to the testimony of the officers, a Nebraska Public Service Laboratory technologist, based out of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, testified to the identification, purity, and weight of the methamphetamine.   

This case was investigated by the Omaha Police Department as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

 

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