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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Two Texas Men of Trafficking Multi-Kilogram Quantities of Cocaine through Myrtle Beach—Both Face Possible Life Sentences in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Abraham Arturo Rodríguez, 30 years old, and Ruben Rodríguez, 23 years old, both from Brownsville, Texas, were convicted of conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine after a 3-day jury trial in Florence.  The 12-person jury unanimously found both men guilty of the maximum crimes charged after a short deliberation.  Abraham Rodríguez faces 20 years to life imprisonment based on his role in the offense and a prior drug conviction.  Ruben Rodríguez faces 10 years to life. 

The evidence presented at trial showed that the two men came from the southwest border and rented a room at an upscale beachfront resort in North Myrtle Beach to be their base of operations.  From their high-rise hotel room, the Rodríguezes coordinated the delivery of more than 50 kilograms of cocaine—drugs valued at more than $1,500,000—from January through November 2017.  The men smuggled most of the cocaine to so-called “stash houses” located in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area using clandestine work trucks.  To avoid detection by law enforcement, the cocaine was stored in average-looking residences in middle-class neighborhoods where families lived and resided.  Inside these otherwise normal-looking homes, drug dealers armed with assault weapons kept watch over safes full of kilogram-sized bricks of cocaine and sold it to other drug dealers who came from as far away as Washington, DC, to purchase wholesale quantities of drugs.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds were then carried back to Myrtle Beach by the men, who shipped the ill-gotten gains back to their associates at the Mexican border via overnight mail.  The evidence further showed that while staying in South Carolina, Rodríguezes’ and their criminal associates spent large amounts of cash partying at Myrtle Beach nightclubs, buying high-end vehicles, and taking expensive excursions to cities such as Charleston, South Carolina.

All this came to an end on November 5, 2017, when DEA agents and North Myrtle Beach officers armed with a federal search warrant raided the Rodríguezes’ North Myrtle Beach hotel room, finding more than $143,000 in drug proceeds and a small amount of cocaine.  Both men were indicted by a federal grand jury.  Soon thereafter, Ruben was arrested crossing back into the United States at the Mexican border; Abraham was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Both men have been in continuous custody since their arrest on these federal charges, and they will remain in custody until they serve out their federal sentences.  

The South Carolina case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted by officers from the North Myrtle Beach Police Department.  The South Carolina case was opened based on a tip provided by North Carolina officers from the Fayetteville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The case was prosecuted by Andrew Moorman, Deputy Chief of Narcotics, and Everett McMillian, both of whom are prosecutors assigned to the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force of the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of South Carolina.  This case is part of a concentrated joint effort between local and federal authorities to disrupt and dismantle the supply chains of cocaine, opioids, and other drugs into the Myrtle Beach area.   



Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated October 19, 2018

Drug Trafficking