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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 8, 2019

Honduran Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine and Firearm Trafficking

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Honduran national pleaded guilty today to multiple cocaine and firearms trafficking charges.

According to court documents, Reyes Barrera Alachan, 38, sold a total of about 3/4 of a kilogram of cocaine to undercover law enforcement over the course of about six months. Alachan traveled from his residence in Maryland to North Carolina at least every other weekend to meet his sources of supply and obtain cocaine, which he redistributed to his customers in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. Alachan and his co-conspirators used coded language to communicate about drugs, such as the word “tires” to refer to cocaine, and “fajitas” to refer to methamphetamine. 

In addition to his involvement in distributing cocaine, Alachan was also involved in illegal distribution of firearms, and sold a total of six firearms, as well as magazines and ammunition, to undercover law enforcement. The firearms he sold included semi-automatic weapons capable of carrying large-capacity magazines. When Alachan was arrested, law enforcement found him in possession of 5 ounces of cocaine, 4 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and gun ammunition.

Alachan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison when sentenced on June 28. 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.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Operation Tomb Stone.  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.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division at the Washington Field Office, Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Barry M. Barnard, Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Rumbaugh and James P. Gillis are prosecuting the case.

This investigation was led by FBI Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets/HIDTA Task Force. The Task Force is composed of FBI Agents along with investigators from the Prince William County Police, the Fairfax County Police, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police Department, Alexandria City Police, Vienna Police, Herndon Police and ICE. Significant assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, FBI’s Charlotte Field Office, DEA’s Greensboro Resident Agency, and the Police Departments of Sanford, North Carolina and Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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 Nos. 1:18-cr-380 and 1:19-cr-73.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 8, 2019