Leader in Cocaine Conspiracy Sentenced to over 17 Years in Prison

May 18, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Alma Morales-Vegas, age 38, of Reidsville, North Carolina, today to 210 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to trial testimony, from at least December 4, 2007 through at least January 26, 2008, Alma Morales-Vega and others conspired to bring cocaine from North Carolina to distribute in Maryland. On December 13 and 14, 2007, Juan Herrera and co-conspirator Jesus Herrera-Zamora brought another individual to Reidsville, North Carolina to meet Morales-Vega, who stated that she could supply that individual with cocaine. Witnesses testified that on another occasion, after a series of telephone calls with Herrera, co-defendant Felipe Lucero traveled to Reidsville, North Carolina to obtain two kilograms of cocaine. Herrara arranged for Lucero and another co-conspirator, Isaac Rojas, to get the cocaine from Morales-Vega. After obtaining the cocaine from Morales-Vega in North Carolina, Herrera, Lucero and Rojas traveled to Bladensburg, Maryland, where they were stopped by Prince George’s County Police. A search of their car recovered two kilograms of cocaine.

At today’s sentencing, Judge Williams found that during the course of the conspiracy, Morales-Vega was responsible for the distribution of between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine.

Co-defendants Juan Herrera, age 39, of Riverdale, Maryland, Jesus Herrera-Zamora, age 30, and Felipe Lucero, age 40, both of Hyattsville, Maryland; and Isaac Rojas, age 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, have all pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy. Herrera was sentenced to 155 months in prison, Herrera-Zamora to 125 months in prison; Lucero to 67 months in prison, and Rojas was sentenced to 64 months in prison. Another co-defendant Humberto Salazar-Torres, age 41, of Laurel, Maryland, also pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 87 months in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their investigative work in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Deborah Johnston, Stacy Dawson Belf, and Robert K. Hur, who prosecuted the case.



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