Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Immigration Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAFAEL LOPEZ-MACIAS, 46, a citizen of Mexico last residing in Norwalk, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to narcotics trafficking and immigration offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in June 1998, Lopez-Macias was convicted in California state court of a cocaine trafficking offense. In February 2001, he was deported to Mexico. Lopez-Macias illegally reentered the U.S. and, in March 2009, was arrested in Connecticut for a forgery offense. In November 2009, he was again deported to Mexico.
Lopez-Macias again illegally reentered the U.S. and, between March and June 2018, he was intercepted on a court-authorized wiretap discussing the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine. On June 11, 2018, in New Rochelle, New York, Lopez-Macias and a co-conspirator sold a kilogram of cocaine and a sample of methamphetamine for $31,500 to an individual working with law enforcement.
On June 26, 2018, Lopez-Macias traveled from Norwalk to New Rochelle, picked up a kilogram of methamphetamine from his co-conspirator, and began driving back to Norwalk with the narcotics. While en route to Norwalk, Lopez-Macias was stopped by law enforcement and arrested for an immigration violation. Officers searched the vehicle and seized the kilogram of methamphetamine.
Lopez-Macias has been detained since his arrest.
Lopez-Macias pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and one count of reentry of removed alien, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. A sentencing date is not scheduled.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Connecticut State Police, and the New Rochelle, Norwalk and Stamford Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Lauren C. Clark.