Because Miguel Angel Dominguez didn't use violence and quickly admitted his role in a Mexico-California-Washington cocaine distribution network cracked by FBI surveillance teams monitoring cell phones, federal prosecutors were willing to chop five months off a proposed 46-month prison sentence.
Through defense lawyer Diane C. Bass, Dominguez argued that he should be sentenced to time already served because he'd been a gainfully employed laborer, grew up in an abusive home, got his GED while in custody, led an otherwise crime-free life, and has a long term girlfriend, who is the mother of his young boy.
Dominguez also pointed out that Javier Farias Mendoza--the leader of the drug network that was active in San Clemente, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Jose and Washington state--received a 60-month prison sentence while his own role largely consisted of allowing his home to be used to stash narcotics.
Officers arrested Dominguez in August 2010, after he received 15 kilograms of cocaine at his Los Angeles residence and took telephone distribution instructions for the drugs, according to the FBI.
On June 6, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney received glowing character references from Dominguez's former employer and girlfriend, ignored the punishment recommended by an assistant united states attorney and handed this defendant the huge break he sought: time served, about 22 months.
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He was released from custody, but will remain on federal probation for five years.
According to court records, the Mexico-based network usually sold cocaine for $22,000 a kilogram--or $1,000 less if they were feeling generous.
Officers with the Santa Ana Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Department participated in the investigation.