Texas Man Pleads Guilty for Role in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jorge Gutierrez, 28, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty today for his role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy that funneled illegal drugs from Mexico to Texas, Arkansas, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ava A. Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
Gutierrez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 20, 2012.
Gutierrez was among 15 individuals indicted on June 4, 2010, by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. To date, 14 have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the conspiracy.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Gutierrez was the leader of a cocaine trafficking ring that brought large amounts of cocaine from Mexico into the United States from December 2009 to June 2010. Gutierrez travelled to Mexico, purchased multiple kilograms of cocaine, and arranged for the transport of the cocaine across the border to his home in Austin. Gutierrez was also responsible for coordinating the transport of drug proceeds resulting from the sale of cocaine in Virginia. After smuggling the drugs into Texas, Gutierrez then had co-conspirators deliver the cocaine in vehicles to Arkansas, Virginia and Pennsylvania. During this six-month conspiracy, approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine were transported into Virginia.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the regional HIDTA Task Force, along with the police departments in Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Arlington, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Karen L. Dunn and Dennis M. Fitzpatrick are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Gutierrez is among the 2,266 individuals arrested in Project Deliverance, a 22-month investigation that resulted in the seizure of approximately $154 million in U.S. currency, and approximately 1,262 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.5 tons of cocaine, 1,410 pounds of heroin, 69 tons of marijuana, 501 weapons and 527 vehicles during the entire course of the project. More than 300 federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies contributed investigative and prosecutorial resources to Project Deliverance through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.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 http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.