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Pennsylvania man sentenced for drug and weapons charges

PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for drug possession and weapons possession. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

Gustavo Morales-Ortiz, 53, of Reading, Pa., was also sentenced to five years of supervised release following his prison term and was ordered to pay a $400 special assessment.

According to court documents, Morales-Ortiz, a Mexican national illegally present in the United States, was supplying methamphetamine to a criminal street gang operating in Reading. He was formerly a legal, permanent U.S. resident, but had been ordered removed from the country in 2010 based on prior felony assault convictions.

Morales-Ortiz was initially arrested on state drug and weapons offenses in Pennsylvania and had been incarcerated in Berks County Prison. In March 2011, he was also indicted on federal narcotics and weapons offenses and placed into U.S. Marshals custody. He subsequently pleaded guilty to the offenses in October 2011.

At the completion of his 15-year sentence, he will be turned over to ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations for removal from the country.

The Reading Police Department and Berks County District Attorney's Office's Detectives Unit assisted in the investigation.