Mexican Marijuana Smuggler Who Targeted San Clemente and Laguna Beach Gets Punished
Sergio Ramos-Atondo, a 37-year-ol Mexican national, will serve 97 months in federal prison for his major role in the April 2011 attempt to bring 740 pounds of marijuana by panga-style boat to the waters off San Clemente.
The scheme involved using a hotel room at the San Clemente Inn as a staging point.
Atondo, who'd been caught in a previous scheme to smuggle illegal immigrants into Laguna Beach via boat, is one of seven defendants in the case that was solved by on-the-ball U.S. Border Patrol agents who are assigned to monitor suspicious, middle of the night boating activities off Orange County's coast.
U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker gave--Ramon Uriel Lizarraga Verdugo and Ramiro Gallegos--two other smugglers in the case 18 months and 33 months of incarceration, respectively.
The four remaining defendants, all represented by taxpayer-paid defense lawyers, await sentencing.
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