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Dec. 12, 2011

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Two Plead Guilty in Cocaine Transport Conspiracy

LAREDO, Texas – Andrew Ayran Alves and Shomari E. Fussell, both 30, have pleaded guilty today to conspiring to possess five kilograms or more of cocaine with the intention of distributing it, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Alves, of Austin, Texas and Fussell, Camden, N.J., pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker to the sole count of a superseding criminal indictment issued by a grand jury on Sept. 13, 2011.

Alves and Fussell admitted to conspiring with others to transport large quantities of cocaine from Laredo to Philadelphia, Penn., and Camden, N.J., where it would be made into crack cocaine for distribution in those cities. Alves brokered deals for quantities ranging from four to 10 kilograms of cocaine, while Fussell was one of the buyers who agreed to distribute the cocaine in the Northeast.

They each face a mandatory minimum 10 years up to life in prison and face a possible fine of $10 million at their sentencing hearing which will be set in the near future. Fussell remains in custody pending sentencing, while Alves was permitted to remain on bond.

Also charged in the indictment are Terril Monteiz Duckett, 34, of Philadelphia and Aaron Jenkins, 36, of Austin, Texas. They are set for a pretrial conference on Dec. 28, 2011, before Judge Hacker and are presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law. Duckett and Jenkins are currently in custody pending trial.

The case was initiated as a result of an 11-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Hepburn.