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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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

AGENCY

Homeland Security Investigations

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
CAS16-1122-Torres
Updated November 22, 2016