Meth dealer with Iowa, Nebraska ties receives life sentence

Local News

OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – A meth dealer who frequently trafficked drugs to states that included Iowa and Nebraska receives a sentence of life in prison.

Jorge Navarrete was sentenced for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and money laundering in 2019.

He became the first person since 2006 to receive a life sentence in Nebraska for a federal drug crime prosecuted by the District of Nebraska, U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division office in cooperation with the Douglas and Sarpy County Sheriff’s Offices, Omaha Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska conducted the multi-jurisdictional investigation called Operation Boyztown between March 2015 and September 2018.

Officials said the distribution organization was found to have direct links to:

  • Sioux City, Iowa
  • Sinaloa, Mexico
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Wichita, Kansas

As a result of the investigation, agents seized approximately eight pounds of methamphetamine, three firearms, cocaine, drug ledgers, financial receipts, and more than $10,000. Operation Boyztown involved one wiretap.

The DEA Omaha Division said the operations couldn’t have been accomplished without the cooperation of the multiple law enforcement agencies.

Navarette, a Mexican national illegally residing in Arizona, brokered methamphetamine transactions between Mexico-based cartel operatives and local drug traffickers in Omaha, Iowa, and Minnesota, officials said.

The co-defendants in the case testified that Navarette employed drivers who made at least six trips from Arizona to Omaha, transporting no less than eight to 12 pounds of methamphetamine.

At his sentencing hearing, he was found responsible for distributing at least 48 pounds of methamphetamine.

In addition to the life sentence for the distribution of methamphetamine, Navarrete was found guilty of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to launder money. He was given concurrent sentences of 20 years of imprisonment for the money-laundering offenses.

Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr., said cases such as this underscore the urgent need to control our international border with Mexico and the need to remove criminal aliens from the United States.

“Out of the 21 defendants in this investigation, 16 were Mexican nationals and/or U.S. citizens born in Mexico. All 21 defendants were repeat felony-offenders and repeat drug offenders,” Salter said.

“Twenty-five years ago, if you wanted to buy wholesale quantities of drugs at wholesale prices, you had to go to states along the Mexico border to get it,” Salter said. “Today, our country is so infiltrated with Mexican cartel operatives, that you can buy pretty much any drug in any state in the country at fairly cheap prices.”

Navarrete began serving his time in federal prison on June 15, 2018, and exhausted his appeals on April 8, 2020.

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