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Mexican national sentenced to 5 years in prison for drug trafficking

WICHITA, Kan. - A Mexican national was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for trafficking in marijuana. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Juan Ignacio Orona-Favela, 37, a Mexican national, was sentenced Aug. 9 in the District of Kansas to 60 months in federal prison for marijuana trafficking. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. In his plea, he admitted that on Feb. 24 he and three other men tried to pick up a load of marijuana from a rental car parked at a hotel in Wichita.

The investigation began a few days earlier when ICE agents learned that a load of marijuana would be transported from New Mexico to Wichita. On Feb. 22, federal authorities in Las Cruces, N.M., inspected two vehicles and discovered 380 pounds of marijuana concealed in the gas tanks. ICE agents loaded the marijuana in a rental vehicle and took it to a hotel in Wichita as part of a "controlled delivery." Four men, including Orona-Favela, were arrested by ICE when they arrived to pick up the marijuana.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson, District of Kansas, successfully prosecuted the case.