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Press Release

High-Ranking Honduran Drug Cartel Member Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Honduran national pleaded guilty today to conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.

According to court documents, from approximately 2008 through June 2014, Mario Urbina, 41, conspired to import cocaine into the United States. Urbina was a lieutenant in the Los Valles international drug trafficking organization based in Honduras, which is a major transit country for South American cocaine. Urbina was personally responsible for coordinating the trafficking of ton quantities of cocaine and the collection of millions of dollars in cocaine proceeds. The Los Valles cartel maintained an arsenal of firearms to protect and further their operation and relied on violence, including kidnapping and murder, as a means of intimidation.

Urbina is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. 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.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; and David Geist, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office Criminal Division, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bibeane Metsch is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia expresses its appreciation to the Virginia State Police, FBI Sacramento Field Office, the Sacramento OCDETF Strike Force, DEA and FBI Tegucigalpa Country Offices, and the Honduran National Police for their significant assistance in this case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided significant assistance. 

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-135.

Updated August 3, 2023

Drug Trafficking