News and Press Releases

Fredericksburg Man Smuggling Cocaine for Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 162 Months in Prison

February 4, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Nelson Wilfredo Rios, 49, of Fredericksburg, Va., was sentenced today to 162 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for smuggling cocaine from Mexico into the United States.

            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 T.S. Ellis III. 

            Rios pled guilty to conspiring to import cocaine on Sept. 28, 2009, after two days of trial. As a citizen of El Salvador, Rios will be turned over to immigration officials following his prison term for deportation proceedings.
            According to court documents and evidence presented in court, Rios assisted a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization smuggle multiple-kilogram loads of cocaine from Mexico to the United States.  The conspirators used secret compartments, or traps, built into passenger vehicles to hide the cocaine as it traveled from Mexico to the United States.  In addition to personally driving cocaine across the border, Rios recruited others into the drug trafficking organization to transport cocaine into 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 Dennis Fitzpatrick 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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