Drug Arrests Lead to Recovery of 119 Pounds of Cocaine and Stacks of Cash
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Criminal charges were filed this morning in Newport News against four men for their alleged involvement in a large-scale cocaine trafficking conspiracy. When the men were arrested on Thursday law enforcement officers seized approximately 54 kilograms (119 pounds) of cocaine and 100 bundles of shrink wrapped cash containing $5,000 to $10,000 each.
Marvin O’Neal Carter, Sr., 49, of Newport News; Daniel Rodriguez, aka Daniel Lopez-Rodriguez, 49, of California; Hilario Rodriguez, aka Hilario Lopez-Rodriguez, 50, of California; and Michael Stephen Kuna, 42, of Canada, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The men are scheduled to make their initial appearances today at 4 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Norfolk.
According to the affidavit on support of the criminal complaint, yesterday agents observed the arrival of a tractor trailer at a garage leased by Carter. The tractor trailer eventually off-loaded the trailer next to the garage, and shortly thereafter agents observed Michael Kuna, and Daniel and Hilario Rodriguez arrive and park in Carter’s garage parking lot. The four men then allegedly worked together to unload cocaine from hidden compartments located underneath the trailer. A short time later, Kuna was observed loading two large duffel bags with green straps into a vehicle before leaving the area. Law enforcement agents conducted a traffic stop on Kuna and located the two duffle bags which emanated with the odor of wet currency.
According to the affidavit on support of the criminal complaint, as Kuna was being detained, members of the DEA, FBI, and Newport News Police executed two federal search warrants on the garage and on the trailer. During the search, agents recovered approximately 54 kilograms of cocaine and 100 bundles of cash in $5,000 to $10,000 stacks. The search of the garage also led to the recovery of a firearm and a quantity of heroin, in addition to approximately $42,000 in cash from a safe.
Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory 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; Jonathan F. Trimble, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Richard W. Myers, Chief of Newport News Police; and Terry L. Sult, Chief of Hampton Police Division, made the announcement after the charges were filed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard J. Zlotnick and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. Cross are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:16-mj-200.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.