12 sentenced in South Florida grow house operation

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

MIAMI — A dozen people have been sentenced in a South Florida grow house operation that ended after the murder of a man suspected of stealing their marijuana.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reported Thursday that Derrick Santiesteban was sentenced to life in prison for drug distribution, money laundering and kidnapping with death resulting, and Juan Felipe Castaneda was sentenced to 30 for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. Ten others, including Santiesteban's wife Yadira, were also sentenced for participating in the operation.

Authorities say Santiesteban and Castaneda, along with Norge Manduley and Gilberto Santiesteban Jr., kidnapped Fidel Ruz Moreno in June 2009. They believed he was responsible for stealing about 40 pounds of marijuana. The man turned up dead three days later.

Authorities identified Manduley as the shooter, but a jury acquitted him this week.

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