Guatemalan Pseudoephedrine Trafficker Enters Guilty Plea
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Erick Estrada Reyes, 31, of Guatemala, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute pseudoephedrine for unlawful importation into the United States and to aiding and abetting the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Derek Maltz, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Special Operations Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Estrada Reyes admitted to being involved in the sale of nearly 5,000 pseudoephedrine pills to a person he believed was involved in a methamphetamine production operation based in Houston, Texas. This individual was, in reality, a DEA cooperating witness. Estrada Reyes, along with his father, Edgar Estrada Morales, and his cousin, Victor Estrada Paredes, negotiated the sale of equipment used to extract pseudoephedrine from pill form for use in the manufacture of methamphetamine. They also discussed working for the DEA cooperator’s fictitious U.S.-based methamphetamine trafficking organization. According to the indictment, Estrada Reyes worked for his father’s operation, which sold pseudoephedrine to groups that sold methamphetamine in the United States, including the “La Familia” Mexican drug cartel.
Estrada Reyes, along with his father and cousin, were indicted on Feb. 3, 2011 by a federal grand jury for their involvement in this operation. Edgar Estrada Morales was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Aug. 2, 2013, and Victor Estrada Paredes was sentenced to 11 years in prison on July 19, 2013. Erick Estrada Reyes faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on September 5, 2014.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Special Operations Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Ben’Ary is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.