Commercial Truck Driver Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge that Carries Potential of 10 Years up to Life in Prison
DAYTON – Michael D. Nailen, 54, of Glendale, Ariz. pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring to distribute large quantities of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angie Salazaar, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck, Col. Richard S. Fambro, Superintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force announced the plea entered into before U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice.
According to court documents, Nailen worked with others to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, 100 grams of fentanyl analogue, one kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine to Dayton, Ohio and other places throughout the eastern United States.
Nailen worked as a commercial truck driver, and when traveling for work, he permitted other individuals to hide kilogram quantities of controlled substances and bulk amounts of cash in his tractor trailer.
Consistent with this scheme, in December 2018, Nailen met Marco Gonzalez in Dayton at a local shopping center, where he gave Gonzalez a box containing controlled substances. Nailen understood that Gonzalez planned to deliver the package to local drug dealers in Dayton. Nailen and Gonzalez repeated this process in Columbus as well.
Nailen still had hidden within his tractor trailer (which was also carrying food products) the following controlled substances – namely more than: 23 kilograms of fentanyl; six kilograms of heroin; two kilograms of fentanyl analogue and five kilograms of cocaine. Before he and Gonzalez could deliver these additional drugs to other cities in the eastern United States, law enforcement discovered the contraband.
Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the same narcotics crime as Nailen. Both men are scheduled for sentencing in August.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by HSI, the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Force, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Brent Tabacchi, who is representing the United States in this case.
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