SAN JOSE - A Mexican citizen has been sentenced in federal court in San Jose to 14 years in prison for conspiring to possess and sell methamphetamine.

Jose Corona-Mata, 32, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, who had been living in San Jose, was given the sentence Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

He pleaded guilty before Koh in April to one count of conspiring to possess and distribute the drug and one count of illegally re-entering the United States following deportation.

The 14-year sentence was agreed to by prosecution and defense attorneys in the plea bargain.

Corona-Mata was arrested on Nov. 30, 2012, after federal agents, who had previously intercepted alleged phone conversations about drug deals, searched his San Jose apartment and found $92,574 in cash along with payment and debt sheets that allegedly indicated drug dealing.

He has been in custody since then.

Corona-Mata admitted during his plea that he bought methamphetamine from a dealer October 8 and 11, 2012, in San Jose and Tulare. He also admitted he was deported from the United States to Mexico five times between 2003 and 2011, according to prosecution filings.

Defense attorney Jay Rorty wrote in a sentencing brief that Corona-Mata was "a low-level purchaser and street-level seller of methamphetamine," while prosecutors alleged he was a "large-quantity purchaser" from alleged wholesale dealers who were charged in the same indictment in 2012.


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