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Press Release

Jury Finds Mexican National Guilty in Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. - After deliberating two hours, a federal jury of three men and nine women found a Mexican national, Adelfo Rodriguez-Mendez, guilty of three counts of violating federal drug laws, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Rodriguez-Mendez was tried before United States District Judge Stephanie L. Haines in Erie, Pennsylvania.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Paul S. Sellers, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Rodriguez-Mendez conspired to distribute and distributed cocaine out of what was then known as the East Coast Monster Garage on West 12th Street in Erie, Pennsylvania, from August 2015 through June 29, 2017.

Judge Haines scheduled sentencing for November 19, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $3,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The court continued Rodriguez-Mendez’s detention and he will remain in United States Marshal custody pending sentencing. Rodriguez-Mendez is also being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer following an earlier order of deportation for an unlawful entry that was active during the time of the conspiracy.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Rodriguez-Mendez.

Updated July 22, 2021

Drug Trafficking