Guatemalan Drug Supplier Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison In Scheme to Smuggle Drugs in Car Batteries

August 19, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Cesar Molina-Maldonado, age 40, a Guatemalan national, late yesterday to 11 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute cocaine. Molina-Maldonado was extradited to the United States from Guatemala to face these charges.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Department of Police.

According to Molina-Maldonado’s guilty plea, from at least February 2001 through February 2004, Molina-Maldonado was part of a Guatemala-based drug smuggling ring responsible for importing cocaine and heroin from Guatemala to the United States. Approximately nine to 10 pounds of cocaine or heroin were hidden inside functioning car batteries, which were transported to the Maryland area to be sold. Molina-Maldonado supplied large quantities of cocaine and heroin to Miguel Osvaldo Bolanos-Acevedo in Guatemala, as well as to drug dealers in Maryland. Co-conspirators used the drug proceeds to purchase vehicles at auto auctions, which were then transported to Molina-Maldonado in Guatemala, with the remaining proceeds hidden in the vehicle. Molina-Maldonado is responsible for distributing over 330 pounds of cocaine during the conspiracy.

Miguel Osvaldo Bolanos-Acevedo, a/k/a “El Cochero,” age 48, was sentenced to 160 months in prison on March 5, 2010.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked DEA, Homeland Security Investigations and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Su and James M. Trusty, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

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