Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Extradited Mexican Marijuana Trafficker Pleads Guilty

Extradited Mexican Marijuana Trafficker Pleads Guilty

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 03, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Fidel Chan Amador pled guilty today before Magistrate Judge Cathy A. Bencivengo to the charge of conspiracy to distribute ton quantities of marijuana. The plea is subject to final acceptance by Chief District Court Judge Irma E. Gonzalez at the time of sentencing. On December 31, 2008, Chan along with nine other individuals from Mexico were extradited to the United States to face charges in several different cases.

According to court records, this case has a long history beginning with the indictment of 18 individuals on June 1, 1999 with Chan as the first listed defendant and the leader of an organization operating out of Mexico. He remained at large until he was arrested in Mexicali in November 2005 on Mexican charges of murder, kidnaping and organized crime and had been held in Mexico City contemporaneously with the United States Government’s request for extradition on the marijuana conspiracy charges.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward C. Weiner, who is prosecuting this case, a number of other defendants (of the 18 originally charged) have been convicted in the Southern District of California case. Since Chan remained in Tijuana, Mexico coordinating several large loads of marijuana which were transported across the Otay Mesa Port of Entry he evaded being brought to justice until the Mexican government apprehended him.

The plea agreement filed today summarizes the key transactions that began in approximately September 1996, when Chan arranged with others to cross large loads of marijuana into the United States for distribution in San Diego, California and elsewhere. The seizures included: a load of 1,294 pounds (November 14, 1996); two loads of 395.2 pounds and 270.8 pounds (February 25, 1998); a load of 477.12 pounds (April 19, 1998); a load of 2,445 pounds (July 10, 1998); two loads of 525 pounds and 300.5 pounds (July 10, 1998 and July 11, 1998); a load of 3,353 pounds (June 7, 1999); and a load of 2,484 pounds (June 9, 1999).

Sentencing is set before Chief District Court Judge Irma E. Gonzalez on January 25, 2010.

DEFENDANT Criminal Case No. 99cr1581-J/IEG
Fidel Chan Amador  

SUMMARY OF CHARGE

Conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms and more of marijuana - Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(a)(1) - maximum penalty 10 years to life in prison and $4,000,000 fine.

INVESTIGATING AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation Chula Vista Police Department Drug Enforcement Administration Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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