MIAMI COUNTY — The second member of the large-scale drug ring busted in Tipp City last fall was sentenced in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.
Judge Jeannine Pratt sentenced Jose Barajas, 37, to serve three years in prison for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity and two counts of aggravated drug trafficking.
Judge Pratt asked for public defender Jack Hemm and Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell to explain to the court how they came to agree on a three years joint recommendation for such serious charges to justify why the court should follow those recommendations.
Hemm said Barajas’ role in the drug ring was minor or “on the back end” and wasn’t a major player in the organized activities.
With help from a Spanish interpreter, Barajas, also known as Cesar Monciavaiz, apologized to the court for his actions.
“I’m sorry for everything that has been going on,” Barajas said.
He said he began working with the others to pay for his daughter’s birthday party.
“I’m sorry for everything,” he said.
Prosecutor Kendell asked for the court to follow the joint recommendation. Barajas was given 238 days of jail time credit. He had no prior criminal record.
Judge Pratt told Barajas his counsel, Hemm, did “an outstanding job on your behalf” or he would have likely spent more time in prison on the charges. She also suspended his driver’s license for three years. Barajas’ sentence will be mandatory and he is not eligible for early release. He also will serve five years of post-release control.
In previous court hearings, Barajas said he has been in the U.S. for approximately 20 years, but is not a U.S. citizen. He may face deportation and be denied naturalization due to the criminal charges.
Last September, Barajas was arrested in the Dayton area by the Montgomery County Regional Agencies Narcotics and Gun Enforcement (RANGE) task force. Four more people are still wanted in connection with the case.
Three Tipp City family members were also indicted by a grand jury for the drug ring operations, which were first uncovered by local and federal law enforcement in 2014.
Brothers Mario Segura, 33, and Erick Segura, 24, along with Erick’s wife, Aleesha Segura, 22, were served warrants for their arrest related to the drug ring at a Tipp City residence on Sept. 2, 2016.
Erick Segura was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for multiple counts of corrupt activity and drug trafficking last week. Mario Segura will be sentenced on May 30.
At this time, Aleesha Segura-White, Erick’s wife, has a two-day jury trial set for May 16.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office arrested the three subjects at 109 N. First St., Tipp City, on indictments stemming from the alleged drug ring. Charges range from possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, money laundering, and various other charges involving patterns of corrupt activity and conspiracy.
Warrants are still outstanding for Dora N. Avendano, 37, and Hugo Avendano, 31, both formerly of Tipp City; Ricardo Mondragon, 26, formerly of Dayton; and Jose Galvin, 32, formerly of New Carlisle. All subjects’ whereabouts are still currently unknown.
According to officials, the investigation started two years ago, when the drugs were initially seized from the Tipp City home.
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