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'Mastermind' of Franklin County heroin operation sentenced to 21 years in prison

Jose Govea-Jiminez, 48, faced a mandatory 11-year sentence after  pleading guilty to multiple drug-related charges in September. (WSYX/WTTE)

A judge sentenced a convicted drug dealer to 21 years in prison Thursday, calling him the clear mastermind in a Franklin County heroin operation.

Jose Govea-Jiminez, 48, faced a mandatory 11-year sentence after pleading guilty to multiple drug-related charges in September.

He told the Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Cocroft he "had made a mistake" and was "willing to pay for it."


"When I was a child and I would listen to this country’s anthem, my skin would crawl," Jiminez said through the help of an interpreter. "And actually at this time I feel the same. I love this country. And I apologize,"

Judge Cocroft said Govea-Jiminez's courtroom apology was a disingenuous attempt to reduce his sentence. Govea-Jiminez was arrested in 2016.

At the time, Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Govea-Jiminez worked "for a large Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization...[that] was receiving approximately 70-100 kilograms of heroin from Mexico" from September to November that year.

A grand jury indicted four additional people: Jose Millan, Jose Sanchez, Jennifer Guy, and Ellery Cardenaas

Only Guy testified against Jiminez, hoping to reduce her own punishment at sentencing.


O'Brien said the five people were "involved in trafficking heroin between September 1 to November 30, 2016, who were operating out of numerous houses/apartments/storage unit locations located on Frazell Road and Bridle Creek Way in Hilliard, Trabue Road, Wildindigo Run, Parkviewlake Drive, Trinity Marsh, Sedona Crossing, and Deacon Circle in Columbus, and Bayridge Drive in Lewis Center."

Govea-Jiminez, who entered the U.S. with a visa, will be subject to deportation upon the completion of prison term.

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