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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics and Firearms Offenses for Maintaining Stash House in DC Apartment Building

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Possessed Over 600 Pounds of Marijuana Intended for Distribution and Two Semi-Automatic Handguns

            WASHINGTON – Eder Luciano Pacheco, 36, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty today to maintaining a drug-involved premises and unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.  The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget, of the Washington Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Chief Robert J. Contee III, of the Metropolitan Police Department.

            Luciano Pacheco entered the plea in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  Chief Judge James E. Boasberg scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 31, 2023.

            According to the government’s evidence, on May 28, 2022, members of the Metropolitan Police Department responded to an apartment building in the District’s Southwest Waterfront neighborhood after receiving a report that a vacant apartment unit was being unlawfully occupied.  Upon officers’ entry into the unit, the defendant exited a bedroom and made his presence known to police.  Officers observed large bags of a leafy green substance consistent in appearance with marijuana.  Officers also observed several large duffle bags containing suspected marijuana. The substance was later weighed, and a representative sample was field tested. The substance weighed approximately 618.75 pounds (approximately 280.66 kilograms) and field-tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.  Officers recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun from the bedroom the defendant had been occupying when they first entered the unit.  The defendant advised officers that there was another gun in a cabinet above the refrigerator.  The few other items in the apartment, such as a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, indicated that the apartment was being used to repackage bulk marijuana for further distribution.

            Luciano Pacheco was arrested on May 28, 2022, and has remained in custody ever since.

            Maintaining a drug-involved premises carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.  Unlawful possession of a firearm by a person illegally or unlawfully in the United States carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence imposed in this case will be determined by the Court after considering the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Forget, and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Metropolitan Police Department.  They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Karla Nunez.

            Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant United States Attorneys Paul V. Courtney and Samuel Frey, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated May 17, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-264