Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Mexican National Guilty on Cocaine Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., returned a verdict today finding Edgar Solis guilty on a cocaine trafficking charge.  The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Tex., and Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden, Jr.

Solis, 29, a Mexican national currently residing in Albuquerque, and his co-defendant Daniel Solis-Castillo, 33, also a Mexican national, were indicted in Dec. 2013, and charged with cocaine trafficking offenses.  The indictment also charged Solis-Castillo with illegal reentry into the United States by a previously removed alien.  After Solis-Castillo entered a guilty plea, a five-count superseding indictment against Solis was filed.  The superseding indictment charged Solis with conspiracy to distribute cocaine; attempted possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute; being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; and using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. It alleged that Solis committed the five crimes on Nov. 13, 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

Solis’s trial on the superseding indictment began on March 15, 2016.  Before the case was submitted to the jury, the court dismissed four of the five counts.  The trial concluded shortly before noon today when the jury returned a verdict finding Solis guilty of attempted possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. 

The evidence at trial established that on Nov. 13, 2013, Solis-Castillo negotiated to buy five kilograms of cocaine from a person who unbeknownst to him was an undercover officer.  After Solis-Castillo arrived at the prearranged location to complete the drug deal, he did not like the quality of the cocaine, and made a telephone call to someone else who could “check it out.”  Shortly thereafter, Solis arrived at the location, inspected the cocaine, and engaged in a quiet conversation with Solis-Castillo.  Solis-Castillo then told the undercover agent they would take one kilogram and if they liked it, they would come back for the remainder.  Solis agreed with Solis-Castillo.  Solis-Castillo then asked Solis if he had a bag for the cocaine and Solis responded by walking over to his vehicle.  At that point, Solis and Solis-Castillo were arrested by HSI agents and APD officers.  Solis initially was charged with state charges which were dismissed after he was arrested in Feb. 2014, on the federal charges in this case. 

Solis had been on conditions of release while awaiting trial, but was detained after being convicted, pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Solis faces a statutory mandatory minimum of five years and maximum of 40 years in federal prison.  Solis will be deported after he completes his prison sentence.

Solis-Castillo pled guilty in July 2014, to cocaine trafficking and immigration charges.  He was sentenced on Dec. 30, 2015, to 37 months in federal prison and will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and the Albuquerque Police Department with assistance from the DEA in Albuquerque, New Mexico Department of Public Safety and the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Mysliwiec and Jack E. Burkhead are prosecuting the case.

Updated March 22, 2016

Drug Trafficking