Ralphie Pastrana Benitez, 27, of Rochester, has been sentenced to 135 months in prison for his conviction of drug conspiracy and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
He appeared last week before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa in Rochester. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto, who handled the case, said Benitez participated in a large narcotics trafficking organization responsible for receiving and distributing multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin in the Rochester area between January 2007 and October 2008. He was one of 32 defendants charged with federal crimes related to participation in the drug conspiracy, whose members also frequently used firearms.
Benitez and others received packages of cocaine and heroin via U.S. mail from Puerto Rico and sent proceeds of drug sales back to the U.S. island territory. Benitez is the 25th defendant to be convicted.
The sentencing was the culmination of a multi-agency investigation under the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force initiatives.