Federal Jury Returns Drug Conviction in Under Five Minutes
BIRMINGHAM – A federal jury took less than five minutes on Tuesday to convict a Birmingham man of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bret Hamilton.
The jury returned its guilty verdict against NICHOLAS FAUSTO CISNERUS, 29, after two days of testimony before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler. A sentencing date has not been set.
“Our message to drug dealers is unmistakably clear: you will go to federal prison,” Town said. “This jury underscored that message with a quick, decisive, and unanimous verdict. Cisnerus was given a fair trial…now he will be given bed space in a federal prison.”
“Nicholas Cisnerus rolled the dice by going to trial. He hoped that at least one of the 12 jurors wouldn’t believe the mountain of evidence obtained during this year-long investigation,” Hamilton said. “Luckily for the citizens of the Northern District of Alabama, the jurors in this case applied common sense to their duties and now Cisnerus will be second-guessing his gamble for many years to come in federal prison, where he belongs.”
Evidence at trial showed that, in 2017, Cisnerus was a member of a conspiracy distributing multiple kilograms of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in Jefferson and Blount counties. Cisnerus had supplied the conspiracy with methamphetamine and had trafficked in cocaine and heroin, according to testimony. DEA obtained a federal wiretap, which captured Cisnerus speaking with another drug trafficker in coded drug language.
In late September 2017, a DEA agent, acting undercover, purchased half a pound of methamphetamine from another member of the conspiracy. Surveillance showed that member traveling to Cisnerus’s house to obtain the drugs, then returning to his house to deliver payment from the sale. Agents subsequently searched Cisnerus’ house and found drug packaging and scales, among other items.
DEA investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Austin Shutt and Mohammad Khatib are prosecuting.
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