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Press Release

Leader Of California-Based Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Antonio Cuevas-Navarro (47, Sacramento, California) pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring with others to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Cuevas-Navarro faces a mandatory minimum term of ten years’ imprisonment, up to a maximum penalty of life.

According to the plea agreement, in February 2012, Cuevas-Navarro attempted to have 12 pounds of methamphetamine smuggled from Jonesboro, Arkansas to Pasco County, Florida. On February 22, 2012, two co-conspirators working on Cuevas-Navarro’s behalf drove from Pasco County to Jonesboro to retrieve the drugs.  The following day, during a traffic stop in Arkansas, law enforcement agents intercepted the drugs from five of Cuevas-Navarro’s co-conspirators.

On April 5, 2012, DEA agents seized seven pounds of methamphetamine in Pasco County from three of Cuevas-Navarro’s co-conspirators. The drugs had previously been shipped to Pasco County by Cuevas-Navarro. In June 2012, Cuevas-Navarro sent Jose Angel Carrillo, Jr. from California to Pasco County to retrieve money from the drug sales. Carrillo then picked up $3,500 in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Pasco County, which represented a partial payment owed for one pound of methamphetamine.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, in which nine other individuals have already been convicted. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.

Updated January 26, 2015