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Press Release

California Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A California man pleaded guilty today to drug trafficking charges related to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of crystal meth.

According to court documents, Shawn Yaeger, 45, of West Hollywood, led a conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine in several states, including Virginia, New Jersey, California, and Florida. Yaeger admitted to receiving large-scale quantities of crystal methamphetamine through various parcel services and providing it to co-conspirators for re-distribution. Yaeger also admitted to obtaining stolen personal identifying information and credit card information, which he used to commit access device fraud and bank fraud. Specifically, Yaeger produced numerous counterfeit and unauthorized credit and debit cards, and used stolen or otherwise fraudulent identities to open bank accounts and acquire access to credit.

Yaeger pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on Jan. 26, 2018. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and M. Jay Farr, Arlington County Chief of Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Peters and Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen E. Garcia are prosecuting the case.

The case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Operation Four Horsemen. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-241.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated October 19, 2017

Drug Trafficking