Man Convicted of Intent to Distribute Cocaine to Johnston County Sentenced to More Than 19 Years
RALEIGH, N.C. – A Miami, Florida man was sentenced to 235 months in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute five (5) kilograms or more of Cocaine and Possession with the Intent to Distribute of five (5) kilograms or more of Cocaine.
Julio Rodriguez-Diaz, 50, was named in an Indictment filed on February 19, 2020 charging him with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute five (5) kilograms or more of Cocaine and Possession with the Intent to Distribute five (5) kilograms or more of Cocaine. On March 5, 2020, after a four-day trial, Rodriguez-Diaz was convicted on all charges.
According to the investigation, Rodriguez-Diaz, was a member of the Gulf Cartel Drug Trafficking Organization and conspired with a co-defendant, Eugenio Carlos-Alfonso, who pled guilty on the day of trial, to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fifty (50) kilograms of cocaine from South Texas to Johnston County, North Carolina via tractor-trailer. The fifty (50) kilograms were hidden in the trailer of the tractor-trailer when stopped by deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for speeding. A law enforcement canine alerted on the trailer and as a result, two duffle bags containing the fifty (50) kilograms of cocaine were found and seized. Rodriguez-Diaz, a passenger, and the driver of the truck, Eugenio Carlos-Alfonso, were taken into custody, but claimed no knowledge of the drugs. Following their arrest, law enforcement learned that Rodriguez-Diaz and his co-defendant were couriers who worked for the Gulf Cartel. To date, this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation, entitled Relentless Pursuit, has resulted in the indictment of eight defendants and the seizure of over sixty-seven (67) kilograms of cocaine and approximately $2.2 million in United States Currency.
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly L. Sandling and Lucy Brown prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-cr-00111-D-4.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.