DEFIANCE - A 28-year-old Defiance man who was called the most significant drug dealer to pass through Defiance County Common Pleas Court in at least 10 years was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in prison.
Salvador Sanchez, who was part owner of Defiance Car Audio, operated a network of drug dealers and safe houses and sold a large amount of cocaine, all while on community control for a previous conviction of trafficking in cocaine, according to the Defiance County Prosecutor's Office.
"I did describe him as kind of a hub of the drug-dealing wheel, and that's what made him more significant than other garden-variety drug dealers," Judge Joseph Schmenk said.
He sentenced Sanchez on three trafficking in cocaine convictions and an engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity conviction. Sanchez will not be able to apply for judicial release until he has served at least 18 years, when he is in his mid 40s.
Judge Schmenk also imposed mandatory fines of $20,000 and ordered Sanchez to pay $4,000 in restitution to the Multi-Area Narcotics Task Force. All of Sanchez's property that is seized, including $3,360 in cash and multiple stereo items, are to be forfeited to the state of Ohio.
He entered no contest pleas to all four charges and was found guilty Sept. 20.
Sanchez has been held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, since March 22 after violating conditions of his community control, to which he was sentenced in 2003 for trafficking cocaine.
He violated that parole by associating with other felons, including his co-defendants; leaving the state without permission, changing his residence without approval, violating his midnight curfew, and failing to report to his parole office as directed and on March 22 was sent to prison for 17 months.
In 1995, Sanchez spent three months in prison for intimidation of a crime victim or a witness. He was sentenced to two years, but released on shock probation.
Three other Defiance men who worked in the drug trade with Sanchez were sentenced earlier, and there is an outstanding warrant for the arrest of a fourth person.
Nicholas Urbina and Simon Esparza were sentenced to seven years in prison - five of which are mandatory. Urbina was sentenced for trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, and abduction. Esparza was sentenced for possession of cocaine and aggravated possession of drugs, which were methamphetamines.
George Hatzenbuhler was sentenced to three years community control for trafficking in cocaine. If he should violate that parole, he is to spend 17 months in prison.
Ace Rubio is wanted on charges of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, and two counts of failure to appear to answer to those charges.