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Press Release

California Man Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Three Kilograms of Heroin to Delaware in Gas Tank

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

Wilmington, Del. – David C. Weiss, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Uriel Erendira Nava, age 42, pled guilty today to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.


According to the indictment and statements made in open court, Nava and co-conspirator Ana Sanchez were part of a larger criminal organization based out of California and Mexico trafficking in multiple drugs, including heroin. In August 2016, Nava and Sanchez drove from California in order to deliver three kilograms of heroin to a Delaware buyer in a prearranged sale. The three kilograms of heroin, hidden in the gas tank of the vehicle driven by Nava and discovered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) in the course of its investigation, represents one of the largest single seizures of heroin in Delaware to date.


“As heroin infiltrates our community, we will fight back,” said Acting United States Attorney David C. Weiss. “With the dedicated work of the DEA’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HITDA”) Group, we continue to make the investigation and prosecution of heroin traffickers a top priority.”


Nava’s plea is the first conviction resulting from a DEA Group 41 HIDTA investigation that included collaboration with DEA Philadelphia and DEA Sacramento. The New Castle County HIDTA, part of the Philadelphia-Camden HIDTA, is a collaborative effort established in January 2015 among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in Delaware. The DEA HIDTA Group 41 includes members from the following agencies: DEA, Delaware State Police, New Castle County Police Department, Newark Police Department, Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, Delaware Department of Corrections – Probation and Parole, and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office.


Assistant United States Attorneys Whitney Cloud and Jennifer K. Welsh are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated May 25, 2017

Drug Trafficking