FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY - August 21, 2009
FIVE ILLEGALS FOUND GUILTY OF DRUG,
GUN AND IMMIGRATION CHARGES
NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on August 17, 2009, a jury returned guilty verdicts for five illegal aliens involved in the distribution of cocaine. LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ, 33; FREDY JAIMES-CRUZ, 25; ADOLFO JAIMES-CRUZ, 33; SAUL CAVILLO-ROJAS, 25; and GENARO LARA-SALGADO, 31; all from Mexico and residing in the Hallsboro, North Carolina, area were found guilty of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1); aiding and abetting possession with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(c)(1); aiding and abetting possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924; aiding and abetting the maintenance of a drug-involved premise for the purpose of distributing cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 856(a)(1); and possession of a firearm by an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5). Additionally, FREDY JAIMES-CRUZ was found guilty of eluding examination and inspection by immigration officers, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325(a), while all other defendants pled guilty prior to trial. Also, LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ was found guilty, and CAVILLO-ROJAS pled guilty prior to trial, of aiding and abetting the distribution of 500 grams or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and maintaining a drug-involved premise for the purpose of storing and distributing cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 856(a)(1). Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan presided over the eight-day trial.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on May 7, 2009.
In March, 2008, after receiving information that LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ was illegally selling drugs, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office working with deputies from Columbus and Bladen County Sheriff’s Offices arranged a controlled purchase of cocaine from LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ. However, once the controlled purchase took place and officers stopped the vehicle involved in the deal, the driver was identified as SAUL CAVILLO-ROJAS. During the stop, another vehicle approached and stopped, which carried five Hispanic males. These additional five were questioned and one of the males was identified as LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ.
The investigation revealed that LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ placed a stash house in the name of co-defendant Juan Carlos Mendoza where CAVILLO-ROJAS, ADOLFO JAIMES, and GENARO LARA-SALGADO lived. These four along with FREDY JAIMES-CRUZ had various roles in the repackaging of cocaine, which arrived every two weeks in 10- to 14-kilogram amounts, at the stash house.
Search warrants performed on the stash house and residence of LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ, both located in Hallsboro, North Carolina, revealed several kilograms of cocaine, packaging and cutting equipment, and six firearms.
Mr. Holding commented, “This case is an example of the great work our office is able to do by partnering with local law enforcement.”
Sentencing has been sent for December 7, 2009.
Mendoza was charged by Criminal Information on October 29, 2008, with conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. On December 3, 2008, he pled guilty to the charge. His sentencing has been set for September 8, 2009.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Wells and Rudy E. Renfer represented 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.