FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY, October 24, 2005
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that on September 22, 2005, a federal grand jury meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, returned an indictment targeting the activities of a multi-state cocaine trafficking organization operating in southeast North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and New York. This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, code named OPERATION EL DORADO, began in September of 2004.
On Friday, October 21, 2005, approximately 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed a series of federal arrest warrants and six search warrants in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas. Arrested on Friday were MISAEL ABARCA, of Garland, N.C., CLEMENTE BALTAZAR, of Magnolia, N.C., ABELARDO BORJA, of Magnolia, N.C., ELIASAR BORJA, of Magnolia, N.C., VICTORINO DAMIAN, of Clinton, N.C., JIMMY JONES, of Goldsboro, N.C., FILIPE MACEDO, of Garland, N.C., VICTOR MACEDO ROMAN, of Cedartown, Georgia, and ANASTACIO TORIBIO-ASCENCIO, of Magnolia, N.C.
According to the indictment, in or around 2004 and continuing until in or about September 21, 2005, the defendants did knowingly and intentionally combine, conspire and agree with others to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The indictment further alleges the identified individuals committed a variety of drug and financial crimes within the Eastern District of North Carolina. During the course of this investigation, numerous seizures of narcotics and currency occurred to include more than 35 kilograms of cocaine and over $500,000 in U.S. currency.
United States Attorney Whitney stated “The success of this OCDETF investigation exhibits the finest standards and achievements of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies sharing resources and working together to attack drug trafficking and crime in the Eastern District of North Carolina and throughout the United States.”
This investigation, OPERATION EL DORADO, was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Wilmington Resident Office, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office,and the Wilmington Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Winnie J. Reaves and Ethan A. Ontjes will prosecute this case for the United States.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set.
News releases and media advisories are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.