Defendant receives 10-year sentence after plea deal

A northern Bartholomew County resident arrested during a roundup of local drug-dealers was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a hearing in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

Jose Rodrigo Dominguez-Cruz, 31, could have received up to 100 years behind bars if he had been been convicted on all original counts filed against him.

Originally charged with two counts of dealing in methamphetamine as Class A felonies, the former Alan Drive resident accepted a plea bargain in June and agreed to plead guilty to dealing in methamphetamine as a Class B felony.

Although Bartholomew Circuit Judge Stephen Heimann accepted the plea agreement Thursday, he also stipulated that Dominguez-Cruz was giving up any legal right to seek a sentence modification in the future.

Heimann also ordered the defendant to pay $1,250 to police in restitution as well as a $1,000 fine, court documents state.

Dominguez-Cruz was arrested for twice selling methamphetamine out of his home in Henry Lakes Estates near Taylorsville in January 2014.

In the first instance, he sold a quarter ounce of the illegal stimulant for about $500, according to a probable-cause affidavit. About half that amount was sold during the second sale a week later, the affidavit stated.

But since he was suspected of having ties to other dealers suspected of selling cocaine and methamphetamine, members of the Bartholomew County’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team waited until the end of a nearly two-year investigation to arrest him and three others on the same night.

After Dominguez-Cruz was taken into custody Dec. 18, he was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond. Later, the U.S. Department of Immigration requested that the citizen of Mexico be kept in custody to evaluate his legal status in the United States.

No decisions regarding possible deportation by federal authorities have yet been determined, court officials said.