Clinton man sentenced to federal prison on cocaine charge

Prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release

A Clinton man has been sentenced to federal prison on a cocaine charge.

Jose Espinoza, 30, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to 78 months in prison for attempting to possess more than 5 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute it.

This prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release. Espinoza pleaded guilty to this charge on Oct. 17.

Through a series of telephone calls over the weekend of July 21, it was agreed between an informant and Espinoza that they would meet on July 24 for the defendant to purchase cocaine, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

An undercover officer went to the location where the sale was to take place and the informant introduced the officer to Espinoza as the source of the drugs.

The undercover officer negotiated the sale of approximately 5 kilograms of cocaine to the defendant. The defendant indicated that he would pay for 1 kilogram of cocaine and purchase the remaining 4 kilograms subject to their quality. The undercover officer then showed Espinoza 5 kilograms of fake cocaine, according to the release.

Espinoza left the area and returned a short time later with his brother, Johnny Espinoza. The defendant showed the officer approximately $23,000. The defendant and his brother were then arrested.

Johnny Espinoza, 31, also of Clinton, was indicted on this charge on Aug. 1 and is scheduled to go to trial in May 2013, according to the news release.