A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Minnesota man of two charges in what U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren called "one of the largest cocaine seizures in state history."
Franklin County Sheriff's officers had arrested Nestor Ramirez, 28, on Oct. 17, 2007, on Interstate 35 and seized almost 550 pounds of cocaine, according to Melgren's office. A jury in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., convicted Ramirez, who was a passenger in a truck, of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
A jury convicted Manuel Barraza-Martinez, the truck's driver, on the same charges on Aug. 1. Deputy Carl Bentley stopped the truck after he had received a tip from Georgia State Police about a stop on a similar truck the day before, according to Melgren's office.
Ramirez will be sentenced Nov. 3, and he faces a penalty of at least 10 years in prison on each count. Barraza-Martinez will be sentenced Oct. 27.
In a separate case, the Franklin County Drug Task Force arrested 60-year-old Don M. Dever of Osawatomie on Wednesday on charges of cultivation of marijuana, a tax stamp violation and possession of paraphernalia.
The task force seized more than 200 mature marijuana plants along with numerous items to grow and maintain the plants in the 1700 block of Jackson Road, said Lt. Jimmie Dean, of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.
The investigation continues, he said.