Comments Off on Isanti meth dealer tied to cartel gets 9 years

A Minnesota drug dealer associated with a Mexican cartel has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

Benjamin M. Saxton, 32, of Isanti was sentenced on Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis for distributing methamphetamine.

Saxton, who pleaded guilty, is the fourth Minnesotan now serving time for drug activities tied to La Familia, a cartel blamed for thousands of killings.

Saxton and the others were arrested two years ago as part of Project Coronado, which involved more than 3,000 law enforcers in 19 states. Officials at the time called it the largest single anti-drug trafficking action by law enforcement in U.S. history.

Federal officials say that the probe of La Familia has led to nearly 1,200 arrests and the seizure of $32.8 million, 2,710 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,999 kilograms of cocaine, 29 pounds of heroin, 16,390 pounds of marijuana, 389 weapons and 269 vehicles.

In the indictment against Saxton, authorities reported seizing nearly $63,000 in cash and several vehicles used to move drugs, including a 2004 Jaguar, a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and a 1984 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Saxton admitted that from June 2008 through October 2009 he conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine.

“Those sentenced … must now atone for pledging their support to an organization that embraces murder, torture and kidnapping as a means of conducting business in furtherance of distributing the highly addictive drug methamphetamine,” Dan Moren, the lead agent in the Twin Cities for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in a statement after the sentencing.

Other Minnesotans serving prison time for dealing methamphetamine include: Jordan T. Murray, 28, Coon Rapids, 70 months; Sara Jo Bloomquist, 31, of Garrison, 60 months, and Luke R. Peterson, 30, of Cedar, 120 months.

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