After the jump, a media release from the U.S. Attorney's Office -- this one, involving today's guilty plea of 49-year-old Adrian Estaban Sanchez Heredia, a cocaine trafficker who smuggled the drugs from Mexico to Dallas via Laredo. As in:
In documents filed in Court, Heredia admitted that beginning in February 2002, he began importing multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into the U.S. through a border check point near Laredo, Texas. He admitted paying co-defendant couriers such as Jennifer Villarreal, Claudia Hernandez, Mark Wootton and others to drive vehicles containing large quantities of cocaine hidden in the backseat area of vehicles or the gas tanks to pre-arranged locations in Dallas.
He faces up to life in prison and a $4 million fine when he's sentenced by District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on June 27. The complete narrative follows. --Robert Wilonsky
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MAJOR MEXICAN COCAINE SUPPLY SOURCE PLEADS GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT - FACES LIFE IN PRISON
DALLAS — A man who was a major Mexican cocaine supply source, responsible for trafficking well over 200 kilograms of cocaine into the Dallas area in 2002, pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Adrian Estaban Sanchez Heredia, 49, who was extradited from Mexico to the U.S. in November 2007, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney. Heredia faces up to life in prison and a $4 million fine; he is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on June 27, 2008.
In documents filed in Court, Heredia admitted that beginning in February 2002, he began importing multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into the U.S. through a border check point near Laredo, Texas. He admitted paying co-defendant couriers such as Jennifer Villarreal, Claudia Hernandez, Mark Wootton and others to drive vehicles containing large quantities of cocaine hidden in the backseat area of vehicles or the gas tanks to pre-arranged locations in Dallas. Villarreal, Hernandez and Wootton were convicted for their roles in the conspiracy and sentenced to prison. Jennifer Villarreal, an upper-level participant within the organization, was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment. Villarreal was not only involved in trafficking the cocaine, she also recruited drivers and coordinated loads of cocaine to Dallas from Neuvo Laredo, Mexico. Villarreal also smuggled hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds to Heredia in Monterrey, Mexico between February and November of 2002. Mark Wootton, was sentenced to 78 months in prison and Claudia Carolina Hernandez was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
Heredia also admitted that between February 2002 and November 2002, he arranged for more than 100 kilograms of cocaine to be imported from Mexico into the U.S. and that after it arrived in Dallas, it was distributed to customers throughout the Dallas area and elsewhere. Heredia further admitted that once the cocaine was distributed, Villarreal and other couriers working for his organization, smuggled large quantities of U.S. currency, representing drug proceeds, back to him in Mexico.
In August 2002, Heredia contracted to purchase a residence at 8306 Baumgarten Drive in Dallas to use to store the cocaine. Heredia also admitted that in September 2002, he gave his daughter, Adriana Teresa Sanchez Gutierrez funds that he had acquired through cocaine sales to purchase, on his behalf, a $136,811.23 cashiers check at First State Bank in Mesquite, Texas, for the purchase of the residence on Baumgarten Drive. Adriana Teresa Sanchez Gutierrez, a/k/a Theresa Sanchez and Adriana Sanchez was also prosecuted in the Northern District of Texas for her role in the conspiracy, and in 2003, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Her boyfriend, Nelson Sandoval Hernandez was sentenced in 2003 to 15 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy.
Heredia also admitted that in November 2002, he solicited Claudia Hernandez to deliver a 1994 Dodge Cirrus containing approximately 12 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to a hotel in Dallas located near the Baumgarten residence. In addition, Heredia admitted that during that same month, he arranged for the delivery of a 1999 Ford Expedition that contained approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to the same hotel in Dallas. Both vehicles were intercepted by law enforcement agents and seized after they arrived at the Baumgarten residence