By MIKE CORN
WICHITA -- Men from Nevada and Arizona were sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in connection with unrelated incidents involving big quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana.
In the first case, a Nevada man arrested not far from Hays in June with 80 pounds of methamphetamine was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to 135 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
In the second case, Pilar Angel Leon-Beltran, 35, Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced to 37 months in prison after the car he was riding in was found to contain almost 100 kilograms of marijuana.
In the methamphetamine case, Tomas Serrato-Jaimes, 31, Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. In his plea, he admitted the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped his car June 20 as he was driving in the eastbound lane on Interstate 70 near Hays. He was stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol about a mile east of Vine.
At the time, Serrato-Jaimes was driving a vehicle bearing a Missouri license plate.
He was stopped for a traffic infraction, and the trooper making the stop ultimately discovered 80 pounds of methamphetamine in the vehicle along with 11 pounds of cocaine.
Serrato-Jaimes initially was booked into the Ellis County Jail, but the charges were processed through federal courts.
Leon-Beltran ultimately pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. In his plea, he admitted on Dec. 30, 2013, the KHP stopped a car in which he was a passenger in Ellis County. In the Chevrolet Impala, officers found 10 bales of marijuana with a gross weight of 101.76 kilograms, including packing. Leon-Beltran fled on foot when the car stopped. He was arrested about three hours later.
Under the terms of the agreement, the net weight of the marijuana without packing was less than 100 kilograms but more than 80 kilograms. The vehicle in which the defendant was riding had been rented the day before in Denver.
Co-defendant Crystal Amarillas-Norzagaray, 23, Tucson, Ariz., is set for sentencing Nov. 24.