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Jail cell

A judge has sentenced a Mexican citizen to almost 5 years in federal prison after prosecutors say he brought 34 pounds (15.4 kilograms) of methamphetamine into Montana.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced 35-year-old Jorge Luis Mendez-Sanchez to 57 months during a recent court appearance in Billings. He pleaded guilty in January to possession of meth with intent to distribute the drug.

A conspiracy charge against Mendez-Sanchez was dismissed under a deal with government attorneys. Upon completion of his sentence, he will be turned over to immigration officials for likely deportation proceedings.

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Prosecutors say Mendez-Sanchez and co-defedant Aldo Pardini drove the drugs from Arizona to Montana to sell to a customer at a Billings hotel.

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Pardini and a third defendant, Jose Jesus Islava-Lopez, are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to related charges.

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