A man involved in the 2017 deaths of 29-year-old Josė Olascoaga and 27-year-old Marco Antonio Tunai Ortiz was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rosario Diaz Barraza, 32, was sentenced after he was convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and interstate transportation of stolen automobiles in April, according to the DOJ. Diaz Barraza is required to at least serve 85% of his sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years upon release, according to the DOJ.
According to the DOJ, Diaz Barraza and Ramon Camacho Zepeda, 54, were distributing cocaine and heroin in Lexington and Olascoaga had incurred a debt to them. On Sept. 11, 2017, Olascoaga and Tunai Ortiz were found dead in the trunk of a Volkswagen Jetta at an auto mechanic shop owned by Olascoaga on Blue Sky Parkway in Lexington.
During Diaz Barraza's trial, a pathologist from the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office said Olascoaga died from chop wounds to the head and asphyxiation, according to the DOJ. Tunai Ortiz died from asphyxiation, according to the DOJ.
"This was a brutal crime, and yet another example of the disturbing impact that illegal drug trafficking can have on communities," said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. "Bringing those responsible for this awful crime to justice involved tireless, dedicated, and remarkable work, by both our trial team and our law enforcement partners, across several states.
"The conduct in this case more than warrants the sentence imposed and should serve as a warning to those who continue to engage in this dangerous trade. We will continue to use all the resources available to us to combat it."
Diaz Barraza was arrested in New York City a few months after the deadly kidnapping after cell phone records connected him to the crime.
Three other defendants involved in the killing, John Carlos Betancourt, 27, Jean Michael Serrano-Jimenez, 31 and Camacho Zepeda are all awaiting sentencing. Camacho Zepeda and Carlos Betancourt were convicted with Diaz Barraza in April while Serrano-Jimenez previously accepted a guilty plea.
Jose Felix Tlatenchi, 39, was also charged in the case and pleaded guilty, but he was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this month.
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