Two plead guilty to roles in Elkhart cocaine ring

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Omar Loza (left) and Aurelio Cervantes (Photos supplied/Elkhart County Jail)

Two suspects, including a grocery store owner, have pleaded guilty to their roles in a cocaine ring that originated in Elkhart.

Aurelio Cervantes, 52, has pleaded guilty to one lone count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute as part of a plea deal, according to our reporting partners at the Elkhart Truth.

Cervantes admitted that he was involved in a cocaine ring in early 2011 with a group of people that spanned Indiana, Ohio, and Texas. Cocaine would be shipped from Texas to Elkhart, then to Columbus, Ohio, according to court documents.

Cervantes was indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 14, 2015 on 15 counts that included conspiracy and racketeering charges. He’s still facing up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines when he’s sentenced on Oct. 12. He could also be deported.

Also pleading guilty is Omar Loza, 32. He also pleaded guilty to one of the 15 counts he was originally charged with: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He’s facing similar consequences as Cervantes when he’s sentenced on Oct. 27, according to the Elkhart Truth.

A Texas man has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for his role. Two others will be sentenced later this year. A Dominican Republic man’s case is still in the court system.

RELATED: Elkhart-based cocaine distribution ring leads to federal indictments for six people

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