Arcata, California – The leader of the largest drug ring bust in Humboldt County Drug Task Force history, 69-year-old Jose Lomeli-Osuna, was sentenced to a split-sentence of six years in the county jail and 12 years under mandatory supervision in January. Lomeli-Osuna pleaded guilty to five counts of drug trafficking charges and was sentenced due to his age and limited health care resources in the county jail.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Christopher Wilson expressed regret at his inability to send Lomeli-Osuna to prison, citing the state law that prevented him from doing so. Deputy District Attorney Ian Harris argued that the prosecution disagreed with the custody cap, emphasizing Lomeli-Osuna’s prior felony conviction and the amount of fentanyl he was trafficking.
The bust that led to Lomeli-Osuna’s arrest resulted in the seizure of 30 pounds of meth, 5.5 pounds of cocaine, three pounds of heroin, two pounds of fentanyl, 150 marijuana plants, 50 pounds of processed marijuana, $115,500, and two revolvers from multiple locations.
Lomeli-Osuna’s defense attorney, Meagan O’Connell, spoke on his behalf, stating that the drug trafficking became an issue when his wife fell ill and they had to pay for her cancer treatments. It was noted that this was not Lomeli-Osuna’s first instance before a court on charges regarding substance trafficking, as he had endured two deportations in the past after similar charges.
In conclusion, the six-year term was considered a reasonable amount of time for Lomeli-Osuna to be out of the community, according to Judge Wilson. The sentencing came at the end of a lengthy legal process, highlighting the significant impact of drug trafficking on the community and the severe consequences for those involved in such operations.