San Francisco man sentenced to 13 years for transporting drugs in central Nebraska

Ricardo Jiminez-Novero sentenced to 13 years for transporting drugs across Nebraska.
Ricardo Jiminez-Novero sentenced to 13 years for transporting drugs across Nebraska.(Hall County Department of Corrections)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:30 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - A San Francisco man is the second of three to be sentenced in a drug distribution case.

According to officials, 29-year-old Ricardo Jiminez-Noveno was sentenced by United States District Court Judge John M. Gerrard to a term of 13 years following his conviction for possession of 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, as well as cocaine and marijuana, with the intent to distribute. After he completes his prison sentence, Jiminez-Noveno will also serve five years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Russell, on Nov. 4, 2021, Esteban Dejesus Huerta Rocha, along with Jose Alfredo Ek-Poot and Jiminez-Noveno, were traveling east on Interstate 80 near Grand Island when they were stopped by a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol for driving at 87 mph in a 75-mph zone.

Rocha was the driver, Jiminez-Noveno was the front seat passenger, and Ek-Poot was seated in the back. When the trooper approached the car, he could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the car and he saw a bag of marijuana inside the car. When troopers searched the car, a mason jar containing marijuana was located in the front passenger door compartment. A backpack containing a methamphetamine pipe was discovered on the front passenger floorboard.

Rocha was searched and he had a small bag of cocaine in his pocket. In the trunk, troopers found approximately 8.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 5.5 pounds of marijuana, and 10.8 ounces of cocaine.

Jiminez-Noveno pleaded guilty on Aug. 30, 2022. Rocha pleaded guilty on July 6, 2022. On Oct. 7, 2022, Rocha was sentenced to a 135-month term of imprisonment, and five years of supervised release. Ek-Poot is set for a trial beginning on Jan. 23, 2023.

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol.