Former Elgin man gets 30 years for drug, gun crimes
Sun-Times Media October 24, 2013 3:34PM
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:32AM
A former Elgin man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking drugs and illegally owning guns.
Joel Rivas, 35, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve after being convicted in July of multiple drug and firearms offenses, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Between 2007 and 2010, Rivas and an accomplice, Ismael Miranda, distributed cocaine and marijuana to customers in northern and central Illinois, federal prosecutors said.
The men rented a storage unit in Elgin to conduct their business of selling, packaging and selling narcotics, the statement said.
In 2010, Elgin police searched the storage unit and seized cocaine and marijuana, as well as a loaded .357-caliber handgun and a 9 mm handgun, the statement said.
Miranda, 36, earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
Rivas, who was living in Chicago at the time of his arrest, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, possession of cocaine and marijuana, and illegally possessing two firearms, prosecutors said.
His sentence was enhanced when he was found to be an armed career criminal, based on previous narcotics convictions dating to the 1990s.
“Although drug trafficking may provide a steady source of income for people unwilling to do the hard work required for legitimate employment, such behavior is reprehensible and should be severely punished,” according to prosecutors’ statement in a sentencing memorandum.