News and Press Releases

Mexcio-to-U.S. Heroin and Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced to 262 Months in Prison

January 8, 2010

(Alexandria, Va) - Leopoldo Cabrera-Beltran, 33, of Columbus, Neb., was sentenced today to 262 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in managing a large international heroin and cocaine smuggling operation.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Office of Investigations in Washington, D.C., made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. 

            In addition to the prison sentence, the court imposed a $25,000 fine and entered a forfeiture order that imposed a money judgment against Cabrera-Beltran in the amount of $168, 315, representing the proceeds Cabrera-Beltran obtained from the smuggling operation, after being credited for $531,685 in proceeds that were previously seized and administratively forfeited to the United States.

            Cabrera-Beltran was convicted of the drug charges on Oct. 13, 2009, following a three-day jury trial. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Cabrera-Beltran recruited couriers from the Fredericksburg, Va., area to smuggle multiple-kilogram loads of heroin and cocaine from Mexico to the United States.  The conspirators used secret compartments, or traps, built into passenger vehicles to hide the heroin and cocaine as it traveled from Mexico to the United States.  Cabrera-Beltran organized drug loads to be smuggled across the border and helped distribute the narcotics once they reached the United States.

            This case was investigated by ICE, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Barr Daly and Kimberly R. Pedersen prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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