United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte man charged with cocaine trafficking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, to 135 months in prison, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Following the prison term, Rodolpho Trujillo, 45, of Charlotte, will serve five years under court supervision as ordered by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas and Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Judge Cogburn also sentenced yesterday Trujillo’s co-conspirator, Luis Fernando Gonzales, 49, of Mexico, to 87 months in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release.
In September 2011, a federal criminal indictment charged both men with cocaine trafficking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Gonzalez was also charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. According to court documents and related proceedings, in July 2011 law enforcement became aware of an intended cocaine transaction involving the shipment of 25 kilograms of cocaine to the Charlotte area. Law enforcement had identified Trujillo as the person from Charlotte involved in the anticipated cocaine shipment. Approximately ten days later, Trujillo was found in possession of $10,000 in U.S. currency. The cash was packaged within coffee grinds to avoid detection of the smell of any narcotics that may have been left on the money, court records show. In August 2011, law enforcement purchased one kilogram of cocaine from Trujillo. According to filed court documents, after observing Gonzales leaving Trujillo’s business, law enforcement searched Gonzalez’s residence and seized more than $270,000 in U.S. currency. The money was packaged in airtight $30,000 bundles and tested positive for the presence of cocaine. Law enforcement also seized approximately 48 grams of crack cocaine from Gonzalez’s residence.
Trujillo and Gonzalez pleaded guilty in December 2011 and have been in local federal custody since arrested by law enforcement. Upon designation of a federal facility they will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by ICE-HSI with the assistance of CMPD. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.