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Narcotics
04/03/2013

Illinois man sentenced to 10 years in prison for distributing cocaine

MADISON, Wis. — An Illinois man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for distributing cocaine.

This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI Safe Streets Task Force; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Stateline Area Narcotics Team; Rock County (Wis.) Sheriff's Department; Illinois State Police; Beloit, Wis., Police Department; and the Rockford, Ill., Police Department.

Nicolas Covarrubias, 43, Rockford, Ill., was sentenced April 3 by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in the Western District of Wisconsin to 10 years in prison for conspiring to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and for distributing cocaine. Covarrubias pleaded guilty to these charges Dec. 27.

On May 21, 2012, officers searched Covarrubias' ranch in Rockford and found $722,016 in U.S. currency, a money-counting machine, several handguns, and wrappers from kilograms of cocaine. The money was forfeited to investigating law enforcement agencies.

The court found that Covarrubias possessed between 15 to 50 kilograms (33 to 110 pounds) of cocaine during the time he was involved in the conspiracy. The court also held him responsible for illegally possessing guns that were found during a search of his residence.

The following five others were charged in this conspiracy: Omar Velazquez, Emeterio Velazquez, Rosalina Velazquez, Ruperto Ruiz, and Jose Castillo-Madrigal. Omar Velazquez also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The other defendants are set for trial July 29.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman, Western District of Wisconsin, prosecuted this case.