Former Customs Employee Pleads Guilty To Auctioning Online A Customs Declaration Form Signed By A Celebrity
Conspiracy With Cartel Connections Involved Over 700 Kilograms Of Cocaine
CHARLOTTE, NC B A Charlotte federal jury convicted today Pedro Oscar Dieguez, also known as “The Cuban,” 48, of Indian Trail, N.C., on cocaine trafficking and related charges, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO), and Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial:
From about 2004 through 2013, Dieguez – a Cuban national – and his co-conspirators obtained more than 700 kilograms of cocaine from Mexican cartels (or other sources of supply with connections to cartels), transported it using trucks to the Charlotte area, and redistributed it for ultimate sale as crack cocaine. The current street value of that amount of cocaine is in excess of $21,000,000. Dieguez conspired to launder the drug proceeds through bank accounts and the purchase of expensive exotic horses, which he kept on his 16-acre ranch residence in Indian Trail. The defendant also used his ranch to offload shipments of drugs. Following a four-day trial, the Charlotte jury convicted Dieguez of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder proceeds of drug trafficking.
Dieguez has been in the federal custody since April 24, 2013. Dieguez faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000,000. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
The case was investigated by the DEA in Charlotte, UCSO, and CMPD. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman.