A Torrance man who led a drug ring that used couriers to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Mexico into the United States and Canada was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Richard Manuel Pimentel, 45, was also fined $300,000 by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Pimentel, who was sentenced Monday to the 135-month term, pleaded guilty in October to one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Pimentel is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced in the case.
His co-defendants, who each pleaded guilty to felony charges, included his 46-year-old brother, Rodolfo Pimentel of Palos Verdes Estates, who was sentenced to 87 months; Enrique Rodriguez, 47, of North Hills, who was given a 145-month term; and Javier Rodriguez, 34, of Mar Vista, who received a 46-month sentence.
Between February 2013 and October 2014, Richard Pimentel coordinated with his co-defendants and other co-conspirators to distribute about 220 pounds of cocaine.
He admitted in his plea agreement that he arranged for couriers to transport cocaine obtained from drug suppliers in Mexico to locations in the United States and Canada. He also admitted that he and his co-defendants arranged for the proceeds from cocaine sales — minus their fees — to be sent back to Mexico, and to arranging the cash payment of a $400,000 debt owed to a cocaine supplier in September 2013.
The ring members used their cocaine trafficking proceeds to buy vehicles, home improvement and jewelry, among other items of personal use, according to documents filed in Los Angeles federal court.