Texas man found guilty of cocaine distribution in federal court.

May 15, 2017

Jaime Pina

Texas man found guilty of cocaine distribution in federal court.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Texas man was recently convicted by a jury in federal court for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in and around Oceana County. Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Jaime Valente Pina, Jr., 24, of Alamo, Texas was found guilty during a jury trial.

Pina, along with his brother, Angel Pina, and Magdaleno Rodriguez were arrested in February 2017 by the State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT) and charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and other cocaine trafficking charges.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, the conspiracy began in the summer of 2015 when Rodriguez, a cocaine dealer operating in and around Oceana County, was introduced to Jaime Valente Pina, Jr. as a new source of supply for cocaine. Thereafter the Pina brothers supplied cocaine to Rodriguez on a monthly basis for further redistribution throughout west Michigan. The Pina brothers are from the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost tip of Texas, which shares an extensive border with Mexico. Throughout the conspiracy, the brothers brought cocaine to Rodriguez from their Texas-based source of supply. The conspiracy ended about August 2016 after SSCENT officers concluded undercover buys from Rodriguez and executed a search warrant on his home. The Pina brothers were arrested on Nov. 9, 2016 after officers of the West Michigan Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on a home in Muskegon County’s Ravenna.

Angel Pina

Rodriguez

Rodriguez and Angel Pina both pled guilty prior to trial and are currently scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff on June 8, 2017.

Jaime Pina Jr. was convicted after a three day jury trial. The jury rejected his claim at trial through legal counsel that he was an innocent migrant worker. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 30, 2017.

The Pinas each face a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Rodriguez, who already had two prior felony drug convictions, faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years up to a maximum term of 40 years.

The investigation was led by Homeland Security investigators with assistance from SSCENT and WMET, two state managed multi jurisdictional narcotics task forces.

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