Sinaloa Cartel Member Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy
CONCORD, NH—Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto, 51, of Mexico pleaded guilty today in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.
Soto was arrested in Spain on August 7, 2012 after he and others arrived there to monitor the delivery of 346 kilograms of cocaine to Algeciras, Spain. The cocaine was hidden in a shipping container that was purported to contain glassware. The delivery resulted from negotiations between members of the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquin Guzman-Loera, a/k/a “Chapo”, and undercover agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation posing as members of an organized crime syndicate. Negotiations for the shipment began in 2009 and culminated in the delivery of the cocaine in 2012. Soto was responsible for supervising the loading of the cocaine in Brazil and monitoring its arrival in Algeciras.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for December 22, 2014. Soto is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Donald Feith.