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Second of two men goes to federal prison for 33 pounds of meth found in Lincoln

Second of two men goes to federal prison for 33 pounds of meth found in Lincoln

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A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in federal prison in connection to 33 pounds of methamphetamine found in a search of a Lincoln house on the west end of town a year ago.

"You made a huge mistake when you chose drug dealing as an occupation. And it's going to cost you 11 years of your life," U.S. District Judge John Gerrard told Jose Marino-Meza on Friday.

Jose Marino-Meza

Jose Marino-Meza

Gerrard called it strong medicine, but said it is the law and the cost of doing this business. 

"That's a boatload of dope," he said.

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A year ago, federal drug investigators said they and Lincoln's drug task force found the methamphetamine in a drug stash house in Lincoln and arrested Marino-Meza and 39-year-old Lucio Cruz-Guerrero.

Lucio Cruz-Guerrero

Lucio Cruz-Guerrero

Both later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a methamphetamine mix and conspiracy to distribute it.

Gerrard in July sentenced Cruz-Guerrero to 14 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, DEA agents and members of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force on Oct. 4, 2020, searched five locations, including a home in Lincoln and Omaha and three storage units in Lincoln near the West O Street exit off U.S. 77.

At about 2 a.m., the drug task force served a search warrant at First and K streets, a suspected stash house in a drug-trafficking organization under investigation since March 2020, according to DEA Special Agent Hailey Anderson.

She said they arrested Marino-Meza, who had been sleeping inside, after finding approximately 33 pounds of suspected meth inside the home and $38,000.

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At the same time, the DEA searched a home in north Omaha where Anderson said they found 3 more pounds of meth, along with hundreds of wire slips to Mexico, extensive drug ledgers, several cellphones and a large amount of cash.

Just before 2 a.m., a Lancaster County Sheriff's deputy stopped Cruz-Guerrero as he returned to Nebraska from Colorado, DEA Special Agent Andrew Winkler said. 

He said that both men had been sent to deliver meth to a confidential source or undercover officer during a monthslong investigation and described six deals in Lincoln between March and August 2020, most involving sales of a half-pound of meth apiece.

Marino-Meza and Cruz-Guerrero both have immigration holds, and are expected to be deported when they're done with their sentences.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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