McALLEN – A 38-year-old known sex offender from Alton, convicted of drug trafficking, has been sentenced to federal prison, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Tuesday.
This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Randy Judge Crane sentenced Edward Gene Ochoa to 188 months in prison to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Crane heard evidence of Edward Gene Ochoa's prior criminal record which included a federal drug trafficking conviction from 1997 and evidence of a prior aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl which occurred in May of 2000.
According to court records, federal agents had learned that Ochoa was scheduled to deliver approximately one kilogram of cocaine to another individual for an agreed upon price of $22,000. On Feb. 16, 2011, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents attempted to make contact with a vehicle being driven by Ochoa at a convenience store parking lot near Pharr. During the attempt, a high-speed chase ensued with Ochoa's vehicle stopping only after being involved in a collision with a utility pole. After a short foot chase, the defendant was finally subdued and apprehended.
Upon search of the vehicle the defendant was driving, agents discovered a black suitcase containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine. The defendant later admitted to being paid to deliver the narcotics to a hotel in another location in Hidalgo County.
Ochoa entered a plea of guilty on May 6, 2011. He has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve out his sentence.
This investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the DEA with the assistance of police departments in Houston and Pharr. Assistant United States Attorney Cory J. H. Crenshaw prosecuted the case.