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HILLSVILLE — A Hillsville man who police believe was a major drug dealer has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison and faces deportation when he gets out.
Federal agents had sought search warrants for the home of Rigoberto Ruiz-Ruvalcaba of 328 Saddle Up Trail as early as April 2009.
Charged in a six-count federal indictment last March — along with codefendant Stacy Harold Bullion of 63 Lewis Lane — both men pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, a schedule II drug.
Ruvalcaba appeared in federal court in Roanoke on Feb. 23 before Judge Glen Conrad to receive his sentence.
The judge imposed a prison term of 57 months, as well as a four-year term of supervised release, according to court documents. No fine was imposed because of the man's inability to pay.
"Upon release from imprisonment, the defendant shall be delivered to an authorized immigration official for deportation and shall remain outside of the United States," the document said. "Should deportation not occur, the defendant shall report within 72 hours of release from the Bureau of Prisons or any authorized immigration official to the probation office in the district to which the defendant is released."
Illegally re-entering the United States would be a violation of Ruvalcaba's supervised release.
The court prohibited Ruvalcaba from owning firearms, ammunition or other weapons after his release, and he must submit to warrantless searches of his person and property.
Directing the man to self-report to prison, the court recommended that Ruvalcaba be placed in a prison as close to Carroll County as possible.
An unnamed source involved in the investigation identified Ruvalcaba as a supplier of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine as early as 2006, according to federal court records.
The source told the federal authorities that "he/she has observed Ruvalcaba in possession of 300 to 400 pounds of marijuana and 10 to 15 pounds of methamphetamine at this residence," it said.
From late 2004 to mid-2005, Ruvalcaba had sold one pound of meth to this source a week, the document went on to say.
Investigators found a second confidential source who named Ruvalcaba "as a multi-pound source of supply of methamphetamine," who "would frequently travel to Chicago and Texas to pick up either drugs and/or United States currency derived from drug trafficking proceeds," according to the court records.
Law enforcement officials made a purchase of meth from Bullion at his trailer in October 2008, the document says. "Surveillance units heard, via an electronic monitoring device, that Bullion was going to... pick up a quantity of methamphetamine.”
Law enforcement officials then observed Bullion's Dodge pickup going to Ruvalcaba's home on Saddle Up Trail, about a third of a mile away from Bullion's home.
After that, Bullion returned home and the police's informant bought meth from him, the investigator writes.
Investigators also monitored phone calls from Bullion to Ruvalcaba's landline phone, according to the search warrant. The calls were allegedly about lining up quantities of the drugs to sell.
Law enforcement officials took substances obtained through their drug buys from Bullion to either the DEA Mid-Atlantic Laboratory or the Virginia state forensics laboratory. "The lab analysis resulted in a positive test for the presence of methamphetamine in all drug exhibits," the warrant said.