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Drug dealer gets 57 months in fed prison

A convicted drug dealer who illegally returned to the country to continue his activities after being deported will spend almost five years in prison, a federal judge in Medford ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Owen M. Panner sentenced 37-year-old Zeus Apolo Guzman-Aguilar to 57 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the country. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Guzman-Aguilar, a Mexican national, had been deported on six prior occasions from 2006 to 2013. From May 2010 to January 2011, investigators with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team made seven controlled buys of heroin from him and his housemate, 26-year-old Fernandos Rodriguez-Benitos.

When detectives served a search warrant on the house, the government's sentencing memorandum says, they found three-quarters of a pound of heroin and $1,323 in cash. Guzman-Aguilar ultimately pleaded guilty to delivery of heroin and was sentenced to 34 months in prison. His housemate also pleaded guilty and received the same sentence.

Guzman-Aguilar was deported in June 2013, following his release from prison, but authorities say that within four months he had sneaked back into the country and resumed selling drugs. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement became involved after he turned up in police custody again in December 2013. After an informant made a controlled purchase of cocaine from Guzman-Aguilar at his new residence, MADGE investigators searched the home and discovered 2 ounces of cocaine and an ounce of heroin, along with scales.

When questioned, Guzman-Aguilar admitted he had been selling drugs out of the residence for $100 a gram, the memorandum says.

Reach reporter Thomas Moriarty at 541-776-4471, or by email at tmoriarty@mailtribune.com. Follow him at @ThomasDMoriarty.