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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Monday, May 12, 2014

California Cocaine Courier Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

Transported 50 Kilograms of Cocaine Worth $1.5 Million

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Sergio Nunez, age 41, of Madera, California, today to five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Howard County Police Chief William McMahon.

“This is drug interdiction at its best. Mr. Nunez was caught bringing into Maryland a significant amount of cocaine. The quick and effective cooperation between our domestic offices along with our state and local law enforcement partners put an end to Mr. Nunez’s courier business,” stated Gary Tuggle, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.”

According to Nunez’s plea agreement, on May 22, 2013, Howard County Police stopped the vehicle Nunez was driving for speeding. Nunez provided his California driver’s license, but was not able to provide registration or proof of rental for the vehicle. A K-9 officer arrived shortly after and the dog alerted for the presence of drugs in the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle recovered two duffel bags, each containing a large number of dark cellophane wrapped bricks. DEA agents secured the bags, which were determined to contain approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine with a street wholesale value of $1.5 million. Nunez admitted that he knew the bags contained cocaine and that he was to be compensated for transporting the drugs.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA and Howard County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James G. Warwick and Seema Mittal, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015