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Press Release

Twenty additional defendants charged with trafficking heroin, fentanyl and cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland, Ohio, returned a superseding indictment charging twenty defendants for their roles in an international drug distribution conspiracy, which includes the illegal sales of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. 

Julian Aguirre-Aguirre, also known as “El Chocolate,” led a Drug Trafficking Organization from Mexico that supplied hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, to members of the Drug Trafficking Organization in the United States.  A coordinated investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration offices in Tucson, Arizona, New Orleans, Louisiana, Atlanta, Georgia, Cleveland, Ohio and Akron, Ohio was able to expose the path and process by which these dangerous drugs entered the United States, traveled across the country, and made their way to Ohio communities.

In January of 2020, Arizona residents Delmer Perpuly, Ulises Perpuly and Cesar Perpuly were charged for their roles in delivering fifteen kilograms of cocaine to Eastlake, Ohio at the direction of “El Chocolate.”  The superseding indictment charges “El Chocolate” as the head of the Drug Trafficking Organization in Mexico, Delmer Perpuly, Ulises Perpuly and Cesar Perpuly for their roles as drug distributors operating out of Arizona, Herman L. Fletcher and Nelson L. Becton for their roles as drug distributors operating in Ohio, as well as fourteen others in Ohio for their roles in this drug distribution conspiracy. 

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including each defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives, Department of Homeland Security, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Summit County Drug Unit, Akron Police Department Narcotics, Lake County Narcotics Agency, and the Cleveland Heights Police Department, with operational assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Service.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Margaret A. Sweeney and Christopher J. Joyce.


Bridget M. Brennan
(216) 622-3810

Updated March 5, 2020

Drug Trafficking