Two High-Ranking Los Zetas Cartel Members Latest Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas
BEAUMONT, Texas – A 56-year-old Houston man has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Eugenio Cerda pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to money launder on June 21, 2018 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to information presented in court, on Jan. 19, 2017, a known drug courier was pulled over after leaving Cerda’s home. Inside the vehicle, officers discovered over a kilogram of fentanyl, which represented DEA’s largest fentanyl seizure in the Houston/Southeast Texas area at that time. Over the course of the next six months, law enforcement surveillance showed Cerda conspired with others to distribute 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl, one kilogram of heroin and over 21 kilograms of cocaine through Southeast Texas and is believed to have laundered at least $1.5 million in drug proceeds. Cerda was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 10, 2018.
Under federal statutes, Cerda faces at least 10 years and up to life in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Rapp.