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Major Mexican drug dealer sentenced to 20 years

COLUMBIA, S.C.-- Frediberto Pineda, a/k/a "Calero," a/k/a "Samuel Hernandez-Pimental," a/k/a "Samuel P. Hernandez," a/k/a "Jorge Rodriguez-Berruquin," a/k/a "Jorge Rodriguez-Barruquin," 32, of Gaston, S.C. and Guerrerro, Mexico, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Columbia, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and illegal re-entry after deportation.

The case was investigated by agents and officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), State Law Enforcement Division, the Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Columbia Police Department.

U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. sentenced Pineda, whose true birth name is Samuel Hernandez-Pimental, to 20 years' imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release. Pineda will be deported after serving his active sentence.

Pineda was one of over 116 defendants charged in 2009 following a series of court-authorized, FBI-monitored wiretaps over multiple telephones in the Columbia area.

The evidence in the case indicated that Pineda, a Mexican citizen, who illegally re-entered the United States following an earlier deportation, was a major supplier of kilogram quantities of cocaine to a number of local drug organizations, assisted by his brother Alfredo Pimental, a/k/a "Buli," a/k/a "Alfredo Pimentel," a/k/a "Alfredo Hernandez-Pimentel," a/k/a "Alfredo Pimentel-Hernandez," who is currently a fugitive.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.