DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2008                         PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                        PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                 CELL: (409) 553-9881
                                                                                                    

TWO GUILTY OF COCAINE VIOLATIONS IN EAST TEXAS

(TYLER, TX) United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that two men have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in the Eastern District of Texas. 

            EFRAIN FIGUEROA, 27, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.  Figueroa faces up to life in federal prison and a $2 million fine at sentencing.  Figueroa has also agreed to forfeit all interest in property seized and agreed to a forfeiture judgment of $100,000.  A sentencing hearing has not been set.

            FRANCISCO JAVIER FIGUEROA, 39, Dallas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.  Figueroa faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.  Figueroa also agreed to forfeit all interest in property seized and agreed to a forfeiture judgment of $100,000.  A sentencing date has not been set.

            According to information presented in court, on February 1, 2008, a Smith County Sheriff's deputy conducted a traffic stop on Hwy 271 during which 8 kilograms of cocaine was discovered concealed in built-in compartments of the vehicle.  A follow up investigation was conducted resulting in the seizure of an additional 14 kilograms of cocaine, another car outfitted with hidden compartments, approximately $16,000 in cash, firearms and the arrests of 5 others in Dallas.  A federal grand jury returned an indictment on February 5, 2008 charging the men with federal drug trafficking crimes.
   
            This case is being investigated by Smith County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William Baldwin.
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