News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - September 25, 2008

ILLEGAL ALIENS INDICTED ON DRUG TRAFFICKING AND FIREARM CHARGES

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment yesterday charging LUIS ALBERTO CONTRERAS, 24, and GILBERTO HERNANDEZ-CHAVEZ, 24, both illegal aliens residing in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area, with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (2), each charge carrying a maximum penalty of up to 40 years imprisonment followed by five years supervised release and up to a $2,000,000 fine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1) and 2, which carries a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment followed by three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000; and possession of a firearm by illegal alien and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(5) and 2, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment followed by three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 .

According to the Indictment, on March 11, 2008, CONTRERAS and HERNANDEZ-CHAVEZ were found to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine hydrochloride and to be in the possession of a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. It was determined that both had come into the United States illegally.

Mr. Holding commented, “This case is symptomatic of a growing problem in North Carolina. With a shift in drug trafficking patterns in recent years, we have seen an increase in the illegal aliens present in our district as part of armed, organized drug trafficking. My office will continue to pursue these cases very aggressively.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening served as prosecutor for the government.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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