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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - January 7, 2010

FIVE SENTENCED IN ILLEGAL DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION

NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on January 4, 2010, Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced five Mexican nationals for trafficking powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana throughout southeastern North Carolina from 2002 to 2008. LORENZO JAIMES-CRUZ, 33, received 425 months’ imprisonment; SAUL CAVILLO-ROJAS, 26, and ADOLFO JAIMES-CRUZ, 33, each received 248 months’ imprisonment; GENARO LARA-SALGADO, 32, received 180 months’ imprisonment; and FREDY JAIMES-CRUZ, 26, received 270 months’ imprisonment. Each defendant, all residing in Hallsboro, North Carolina, also received five years supervised release following their imprisonment.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on May 7, 2009. On August 17, 2009, following an eight-day trial, a jury found all five defendants guilty of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, aiding and abetting possession with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, aiding and abetting possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, aiding and abetting the maintenance of a drug-involved premise for the purpose of distributing cocaine, and possession of a firearm by an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States. Additionally, FREDY JAIMES-CRUZ was found guilty of eluding examination and inspection by immigration officers, while all other defendants pled guilty to the charge 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 and maintaining a drug-involved premise for the purpose of storing and distributing cocaine.

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-CRUZ, 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.

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.

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