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AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
January 3, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIVE DEFENDANTS INDICTED IN SEIZURE OF 23 KILOGRAMS OF COCAINE
DEA’s Largest Seizure from a Controlled Delivery in Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted the following five defendants for conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, after a December 19, 2006 DEA seizure of 23 kilograms of cocaine intended for delivery in Maryland, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein:
Alejandero Arango-Lopez a/k/a Alejandero Jesus Arango, age 38;
Jesus Luis Sanchez-Cuevas, age 30;
Julio Grano, a/k/a “Pancho”, age 29, of Riedsville, N.C.;
Juan Gonzalez, age 29, of Guadalajara, Mexico; and
Christopher Devan Towns, age 41, of Raleigh, N.C.
The indictment also charges Gonzalez, Grano and Towns with possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
According to publicly filed court documents, a state trooper in North Carolina stopped the tractor trailer Arango-Lopez was driving for speeding on December 18, 2006. Sanchez-Cuevas was a passenger. After a canine alert for narcotics, the trooper searched the vehicle and found 23 kilograms of cocaine. DEA agents learned that Sanchez-Cuevas and Arango-Lopez were delivering the 23 kilograms of cocaine, originally loaded into the vehicle in California, to the truck stop at exit 35 off Interstate 95 in Howard County, Maryland. Sanchez-Cuevas and Arango-Lopez were to deliver the cocaine to “Pancho” and were to be paid $10,000 each for the delivery.
On December 19, 2006 Arango-Lopez and Sanchez-Cuevas drove to the I-95 Maryland truck stop under DEA surveillance to make the scheduled delivery. A black SUV jeep driven by Grano, in which Gonzales was a passenger, arrived and parked at the truck stop. Grano, also known as “Pancho,” instructed Sanchez-Cuevas by phone to place the suitcase containing cocaine outside the truck, which Sanchez-Cuevas did. “Pancho” called Sanchez-Cuevas again and said someone would arrive soon to pick up the suitcase. Agents then observed Towns arrive in a dark color SUV, park near the truck, pick up the suitcase and walk back to his vehicle.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years. No further court appearances have been scheduled. The defendants remain detained.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Drug Enforcement Administration of both the Baltimore and Asheville, North Carolina field offices, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Giblin and Christopher Romano who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 3, 2007