Jury Convicts Man for Role in Transporting Heroin Hidden in Frame of Car
DAYTON – A U.S. District Court jury convicted Carlos Pavon, 42, an illegal alien from Honduras, of conspiring with others to bring more than 2.5 kilograms of heroin hidden in the frame of a car into the Miami Valley.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and law enforcement agencies in the Homeland Security Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force, announced the verdict returned late Friday, October 7 following a trial that began October 4 before U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice.
The jury convicted Pavon of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a crime punishable by at least ten years and up to life in prison.
According to court testimony, task force officers investigating a lead provided by law enforcement officials in California questioned Pavon and two other men at a Dayton hotel in November 2014. After talking with the men, agents searched a car connected to them at the hotel. Officers found two loaded semi-automatic handguns and items often involved in weighing and repackaging heroin. A drug dog sniffed the car and indicated the presence of illegal drugs. Task force officers took the car to the Fairborn Police Department and found five bricks of heroin, a total of more than 2.5 kilograms, hidden in the frame of the car. Officers arrested the three men on a federal complaint. They have been in custody since their arrest.
“We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to reduce the supply of heroin in our region,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “Hidden compartments or ‘traps’ are a common method used by drug traffickers and officers receive constant training on detecting these traps.”
Law enforcement agencies participating in the Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force led by Homeland Security Investigations include Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer’s Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office, the Butler Township Police Department and the Miami Township Police Department.
"The number one way to target and dismantle a criminal group is to hit them where it hurts the most - in their wallets," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. "This conviction and the guilty pleas of the other defendants are a testament to the immeasurable value of the Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force and the unique expertise and authorities each member agency brings to bear in these complex investigations."
A grand jury indicted Pavon along with Amilcar Antonio Cortez Grande, 32, an illegal alien from El Salvador, and Mario Felix, 45, Spring Valley, California in December 2014. Grande and Felix pleaded guilty before Judge Rice in May 2015 to conspiracy and firearms charges. Grande was sentenced in November 2015 to 90 months in prison. Sentencing is pending for Felix. Evidence showed that Felix had driven the car from California to Ohio to deliver the heroin to Pavon and Grande.
Judge Rice will schedule a sentencing hearing for Pavon. As an illegal alien, Pavon faces deportation after he serves time in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the federal, state and local agencies involved, and Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Healey and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel, who are representing the United States in this case.