News and Press Releases

two drug traffickers sentenced
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation “No Quarter”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2012

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced at a press conference today that in federal court  United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced two defendants in a drug conspiracy that spanned 10 years and 5 North Carolina counties.  RENATO TORRES-EGUINO, 39, received 236 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release.  His co-defendant, JORGE LUIS ACOSTA-MURO, 38, received 270 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release. 

     TORRES-EGUINO and ACOSTA-MURO were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in October 2011 and they pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in December 2011. 

According to the investigation, TORRES-EGUINO, residing in Arizona, delivered monthly multi-kilogram cocaine shipments to Sergio Estupinan in Richmond, Virginia.  Estupinan would then deliver the cocaine to ACOSTA-MURO, residing in Pamlico County, North Carolina.  When Estupinan was arrested in 2008, ACOSTA-MURO started receiving the shipments directly from TORRES-EGUINO.  ACOSTA-MURO and Daniel Cloninger would repackage the cocaine for distribution to other drug dealers including Jessie Pearson.  Pearson then sold the cocaine to cocaine dealers, including Tobia Moye, in Pitt, Pamlico, Craven, Beaufort and Lenoir Counties.   

On July 3, 2011, law enforcement learned that TORRES-EGUINO would be delivering 10 kilograms of cocaine to ACOSTA-MURO and that Pearson and Davis would be receiving cocaine from this shipment.  A traffic stop was performed of the vehicle of TORRES-EGUINO.  During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement found 14 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden compartment.  A search warrant for the residence and vehicle of ACOSTA-MURO was then obtained, which resulted in the seizure of a metal safe containing cocaine residue, digital scales, two bottles of Inositol powder, which is used to “cut” cocaine, drug packaging materials, and firearms.

It is estimated that from 2001 to 2011, TORRES-EGUINO moved approximately 1,000 kilograms of cocaine from Arizona to Virginia and North Carolina.  During this same timeframe, ACOSTA-MURO distributed those kilograms of cocaine in North Carolina. 

Sergio Estupinan was sentenced on May 9, 2011, to 180 months imprisonment.  Pearson, Cloninger and Moye’s sentencing hearings are pending.

OCDETF Operation “No Quarter” was designed to attack the infrastructure of the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO), including those of the Los Zetas, La Familia, Gulf and Sinaloa drug cartels, operating not only in the Eastern District of North Carolina, but throughout North Carolina, the United States and Mexico.  These DTO’s are responsible for the importation of large quantities of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine into the United States, as well as the related remittance of illegal drug proceeds back into Mexico. 

As part of this ongoing investigation, over 90 individuals have been charged by indictment or criminal information in the Eastern District of North Carolina and state courts. In addition, $1.5 million in U.S. Currency, 127 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $3.8 million dollars, 41 pounds of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of $650,000, 160 lbs of marijuana with a street value of $170,000, 32 grams of heroin, 35 firearms and 35 real properties valued at $1.5 million were seized by law enforcement authorities.   

Individuals indicted in these cases are charged with a variety of crimes, including: conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana; distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana; conspiracy to import narcotics into the United States; money laundering; and other violations of federal law. Numerous defendants face asset forfeiture actions as well.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration - Raleigh and Greensboro Resident Offices, the New York Field Division and numerous other DEA offices in the United States and Mexico;  the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Raleigh and Wilmington offices; the United States Marshals Service; the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Raleigh and Tampa, Florida offices; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the North Carolina National Guard; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; the Greenville Police Department; the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office; the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office; the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office; the Craven County Sheriff’s Office; the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office; the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office; the New Bern Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office; the Person County Sheriff’s Office; the Farmville Police Department; the Goldsboro Police Department; the Rocky Mount Police Department; the Burlington Police Department, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wilson Police Department.

The state prosecutions of some of the suspects arrested were handled by the District Attorney’s Offices of 3-A, 3-B, and 8, which include Pitt, Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, Wayne, Lenoir and Greene Counties.  

The federal prosecutions were handled by Special Assistant United States Attorneys Glenn Perry and Augustus Willis, IV.  Mr. Perry is a prosecutor with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Willis is a prosecutor with the Craven, Carteret and Pamlico Counties District Attorney’s Office.  District Attorneys Clark Everett and Scott Thomas have assigned Mr. Perry and Mr. Willis to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. Their assignments to the United States Attorney’s Office have been made possible by grants funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission.

 

 

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