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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced for Multi-Kilogram International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Mexican national was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving the distribution of kilogram-level amounts of illegal drugs on behalf of co-conspirators located overseas and throughout the United States.

According to court documents, Jose Ramon Felix Meza, 52, traveled to Northern Virginia in June 2018 with Gilberto Paz Madrid, 33, another citizen of Mexico, to distribute controlled substances on behalf of co-conspirators located in Mexico, the Washington, D.C. area, and elsewhere. Following a successful operation, law enforcement agents from Homeland Security Investigations interdicted and seized nearly 9 kilograms of heroin.

In June 2018, the Virginia State Police attempted a traffic stop of a sport utility vehicle that Madrid was driving (with Meza as his passenger) along the Capital Beltway after he and Meza paid thousands of dollars for what they believed were numerous bricks of illicit narcotics. Madrid accelerated away from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle. Madrid and Meza’s vehicle collided into several cars, yet they continued to flee from law enforcement until officers successfully arrested both individuals. Madrid was sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 4.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Virginia State Police as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). 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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Washington, D.C., Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh prosecuted the case.

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. 1:18-cr-317.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated January 28, 2019

Drug Trafficking