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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Meth mule pleads guilty for role in Los Angeles-to-Charleston drug conspiracy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Los Angeles woman caught transporting a load of crystal methamphetamine from California to West Virginia pleaded guilty today to a federal drug charge, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Danielle Dessaray Estrada, 21, entered her guilty plea to interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime.

Estrada admitted that in March 2016, she picked up approximately five pounds of crystal methamphetamine in California. Estrada also admitted that with the help of some of her codefendants, she repackaged the methamphetamine and concealed the drugs in the back seat of her car. Estrada further admitted that she and one of her codefendants drove from California to West Virginia and they were stopped by officers in South Charleston on March 26, 2016. Law enforcement discovered the drugs during the traffic stop. Estrada additionally admitted that she had previously driven to Charleston in December 2015 to deliver drugs.

Estrada faces up to five years in federal prison when she is sentenced on October 6, 2016. 

This prosecution is the result of a multi-agency investigation which led to an eight-count indictment implicating 14 defendants, including Estrada. Estrada’s codefendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The FBI, DHS Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Charleston Police Department, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jenny Rada Herrald is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 21, 2016