Leader of Teenage Drug Smuggling Ring Pleads Guilty; Used Facebook to Coordinate Drug Trafficking
Assistant U. S. Attorney Patrick J. Bumatay (619) 546-8450
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – May 31, 2016
SAN DIEGO – Roberto Torres Jr., 22, pleaded guilty in federal court today to leading a drug smuggling ring that used young adults and teenagers to smuggle vast quantities of methamphetamine into the United States.
Torres, a U.S. citizen, admitted that he and his co-conspirators recruited dozens of minors, some as young as 15 years old, from Imperial Valley, California high schools and elsewhere to transport narcotics from Mexico into the United States. Torres used Facebook, the social networking platform, to coordinate the drug trafficking activity with his young smugglers.
As part of his plea agreement, Torres agreed to a “use of a minor” enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which will result in him receiving an elevated Guidelines sentencing range.
Several of Torres’ codefendants have already pleaded guilty to participating in the drug trafficking enterprise, including Genesis Flores De Anda, Hector Beltran-Garcia, Eleazar Sanchez-Aguilar, and Diana Carrillo.
Torres pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal. He will be sentenced on February 17, 2017 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. Torres faces up to life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison, and a $10 million fine.
DEFENDANTS Case Number 15cr2503-CAB/15CR3143-CAB
Roberto Torres, Jr. Age: 22
Hector Beltran-Garcia Age: 22
Genesis Flores De Anda Age: 20
Diana Lizeth Carrillo Age: 21
Eleazar Sanchez-Aguilar Age: 39
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine– Title 21, U.S.C., Sections 952, 960, 963
Homeland Security Investigations