Skip to main content
Press Release

New York Men Arrested During $1 Million Cocaine Deal

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Three New York area men made their initial appearances in federal court this afternoon after they were arrested yesterday in Fairfax County for conspiring to purchase 100 kilograms of cocaine. Law enforcement seized over $1 million in cash at the time of the arrest.

According to court documents, Luis Rafael Tavarez, aka “El Primo,” 36, Manny Lizardo, 24, and Luis M. Liriano-Toribio, 31, all of whom reside in the New York area, are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The men allegedly traveled from New York to Fairfax County to obtain 100 kilograms of cocaine (50 kilograms up front, and another 50 kilograms on consignment) in exchange for over $1 million in cash. Lizardo and Liriano-Toribio traveled to assist Tavarez in trafficking and/or transporting the large shipment of cocaine back to New York. Tavarez served as the main point of contact for the operation, and was arrested at a hotel in Vienna in possession of the cash. Lizardo, who inspected and attempted to test the cocaine, and Liriano-Toribio, who voluntarily joined the conspiracy and participated in the trip in exchange for thousands of dollars, were arrested in a parking garage in Fairfax attempting to take possession of the cocaine.

Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted. 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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh is prosecuting the case.

Significant assistance with this investigation was provided by the Vienna Police Department, Prince George’s County Police Department, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

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-mj-510.

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.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated October 24, 2018

Drug Trafficking