A man convicted of transporting 51 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin into New York City was sentenced, authorities said Monday.
Deivis Rafael Ceballos of Texas was sentenced to 13 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for conspiracy and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Members of the DEA New York Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested Ceballos, 44, in July 2011 off Interstate 95 in New Jersey. He was found with a suitcase containing 5 kilograms of heroin and 23 kilos of methamphetamine.
At the time, the load of methamphetamine was the largest ever seized by the DEA's New York Division, according to New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.
Court records indicate that Ceballos owned a Texas-based trucking company and was hired to run drugs for Jose Mota, the head of a drug trafficking gang based in Washington Heights, Brennan's office said.
Mota and Ceballos were initially co-defendants at a trial in 2015 until Mota entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 11 years in prison and 5 years of post-release supervision.
Ceballos originally testified that he only ran the drugs because he feared Mota and he thought he was transporting marijuana, not narcotics. “Both the number of calls and the nature of the discussions [between the men] suggested that far from being an unwitting mule, Ceballos was an important member of Mota’s drug organization,” authorities said.
Ceballos was convicted on Jan. 30 after a mistrial in June 2015 when jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.