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Press Release

Former Drug Cartel Member Convicted Of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy And Money Laundering

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

WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that Miguel A. Lavenant, age 38, of San Diego, California, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine.  The jury also convicted Lavenant of three counts of money laundering.  For his convictions, Lavenant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment.  Sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2013, at 1:00 p.m.

At trial, the United States established that Lavenant shipped over 50 kilograms of cocaine from San Diego to the East Coast.  Some of the cocaine for which Lavenant was responsible was later distributed in the State of Delaware.  Lavenant’s customers on the East Coast, including in Delaware, paid for their cocaine by making large-scale cash deposits into different bank accounts that Lavenant controlled.

Lavenant is a former enforcer and drug smuggler for the Arellano-Felix Organization (“AFO”) – a drug trafficking cartel based in Tijuana, Mexico.  He was featured prominently in a National Geographic Documentary, “Tijuana Drug Lords,” in which he discussed his role in the AFO.

Regarding the convictions, United States Attorney Oberly said, “I commend the DEA offices in Delaware and San Diego, Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division, the Wilmington Police Department, the Newark (DE) Police Department, and the California Department of Justice for their collaborative efforts in dismantling a major drug source whose cocaine made it to the streets of Wilmington.  This investigation shows our Office’s commitment to prosecute drug dealers who have a negative impact on Delaware, regardless of where they reside.” 

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert F. Kravetz and Jennifer L. Hall.  

Updated July 14, 2015