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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced To 18 Months For Transporting Heroin In 2019

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

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell today sentenced Denisse Munoz-Mora (31, Mexico) to 18 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute heroin. Munoz-Mora had pleaded guilty on October 25, 2023. Munoz-Mora’s conspirator, Irving Cepeda-Chico, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2021 to 14 years in federal prison for engaging in distribution of heroin and fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in a drug poisoning death.      

According to court documents, Munoz-Mora worked with an individual using a Mexican-based phone number who arranged for Munoz-Mora to supply Cepeda-Chico with heroin. Munoz-Mora communicated with Cepeda-Chico and arranged to deliver 377 grams of heroin to him at a hotel near the Orlando International Airport on August 4, 2019. Munoz-Mora was subsequently detained and admitted that she was paid $3,000 to enter the United States from Mexico, meet an individual in California, receive drugs from that individual, and transport the heroin by concealing it while she flew to Orlando. Munoz-Mora stated that she had done so on at least one prior occasion. After she was indicted and a federal arrest warrant was issued, Munoz Mora was not found and apparently returned to Mexico.

In 2020, on the eve of Cepeda-Chico’s trial, Munoz-Mora emailed representatives of the United States Attorneys’ Office and DEA protesting the fairness of her being charged in the case, although she refused to turn herself in to a port of entry. In 2023, Munoz-Mora was again found crossing the border from Mexico and was arrested on the outstanding federal warrant.     

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dana E. Hill.

Updated January 10, 2024

Drug Trafficking