Leader of Nationwide Cocaine Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 10, 2013|
NORFOLK, VA—Luis Alberto Navarro, 32, of Tucson, Arizona, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Field Division; and Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Norfolk Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Navarro was indicted on June 5, 2013, by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine, as well as distribution and possession of cocaine. Navarro faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment when he is sentenced on December 13, 2013.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Navarro admitted to his involvement in a large-scale cocaine distribution ring from 2006 to the present. While Navarro operated the Tucson, Arizona hub of the organization, the group had a nationwide network of distribution points, including locations in Indiana, California, New York, Pennsylvania, and in Tidewater. Navarro recruited, supervised, and managed couriers and other members to transport and distribute cocaine and proceeds from the distribution of cocaine throughout the United States. Along with his co-conspirators, Navarro would hide the cocaine both inside the lining of coolers and inert, hollowed-out fire extinguishers in order to avoid detection during transportation.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Fire & Ice.
Assistant United States Attorneys V. Kathleen Dougherty and Kevin M. Comstock are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.