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Wheaton Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Cocaine Conspiracy

Carlos Jose Trejo Ruiz of Wheaton was convicted on charges related to a cocaine distribution conspiracy between 2009 and 2010.

A 35-year-old Wheaton man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on gun and drug charges related to a cocaine distribution conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland announced Thursday.

The jury found that Carlos Jose Trejo Ruiz was responsible for distributing at least 280 grams of crack cocaine and at least 5 kilograms of powder cocaine.            

According to evidence presented at his five-day trial, Trejo conspired with Nestor Vladimir Sandoval Roca (who also went under the name William Zapatero) and others to distribute the cocaine between July 2009 and August 17, 2010.  

Law enforcement intercepted multiple phone conversations a day in which Sandoval and Trejo discussed transporting the drugs and collecting debts from customers. They also tracked multiple trips by Sandoval and Trejo to Houston to purchase cocaine from Sandoval's supplier. Trejo would hide the cash in a secret compartment in the car, investigators said.

The attorney's office reported that Sandoval typically paid Trejo with $1,000 and crack cocaine for these trips between Maryland and Texas. Trejo was also involved in collecting drug debts from Sandoval's customers. 

In addition to the drug charges, investigators said Trejo sold a .556 caliber machine gun with no serial number to Sandoval in exchange for cocaine worth $800-$1,000. Trejo also sold two high-capacity magazines and approximately 60 rounds of ammunition to Sandoval.  

Trejo's 30 years in prison will be followed by five years of supervised release.

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