Elderly Man in Wheel Chair Trafficking 10 Pounds of Heroin
OCT 25 -- NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -GUILLERMO VALDOVINOS CRUZ, age 60, of Mazatlan, Mexico and FIDELIS LEWIS, age 27, of Topawa, Arizona were charged on October 21, 2010 in a two-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with conspiracy to distribute heroin, as well as possessing with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, on October 12, 2010, at the Amtrak Station Building in New Orleans, Louisiana, while conducting routine reviews, Amtrak Police discovered that, although CRUZ (who was traveling in a wheelchair) and LEWIS boarded in different cities, they were traveling on the same train and used the same telephone number as a point-of-contact. Further review of the Amtrak database revealed that between March 2010 to present, the defendants rode together on the same trains to New York City at least five to six times. The review also revealed during the March 2010 trip, the defendants arrived together in New York on March 21, purchased tickets the following day, and departed New York City on March 23. Further, according to court documents, subsequent investigation and a canine search revealed approximately 4.52 kilograms (approximately ten pounds) of heroin hidden in the cushion of the wheelchair.
If convicted, the defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, millions in fines and at least five (5) years of supervised release.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Louisiana State Police, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force and Amtrak Police. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin G. Boitmann.