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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - December 9, 2011

HIGH-LEVEL WILSON DRUG TRAFFICKERS SENTENCED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday Hilaria Rodriguez was sentenced for her participation in an illegal drug distribution conspiracy located in Wilson, North Carolina. Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced RODRIGUEZ, 34, to 211 months’ imprisonment.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on May 24, 2011, charging RODRIGUEZ with conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, and a quantity of marijuana, distribution of cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On May 31, 2011, RODRIGUEZ pled guilty to the conspiracy and distribution charges and not guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On June 2, 2011, following a three-day trial, a jury convicted RODRIGUEZ of count three of the Indictment which charged possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to the investigation, RODRIGUEZ was involved in a conspiracy that was importing large quantities of cocaine from outside of the Eastern District of North Carolina and distributing them throughout Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties. The investigation also revealed that members of the conspiracy were using firearms and threats of violence to assist in their operations.

The case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rocky Mount Police Department, the Wilson Police Department, and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Huff represented the United States in the case. Mr. Huff is an assistant district attorney in the Seventh Prosecutorial District, comprised of Nash, Wilson, and Edgecombe Counties. District Attorney Robert A. Evans has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal drug and organized crime cases. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission.

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