Mexican convicted of transporting 20 kilos of cocaine from Texas to Massachusetts – Fall River Reporter

BOSTON – A Mexican man has been found guilty by a federal jury in Boston for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy in which 20 kilograms of cocaine were seized during a traffic stop in Littleton in March 2023.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, 39-year-old Erasmo Lira-Mendez was charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine (both felonies weighing five kilograms or more). sentenced. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for September 4, 2024. Lira-Mendez was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2023 along with his co-defendant Cornelio Hernandez.

“This case is a stark reminder of the grave dangers posed by illegal drugs circulating in the shadows of our communities. While driving without a license in a small, quiet suburb of Massachusetts, Mr. Lira-Mendez was found in possession of 20 kilograms of cocaine intended for distribution, hidden in a duffel bag,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy . “This conviction reinforces our office’s unwavering commitment to holding accountable those who seek to profit from the devastating consequences of drug trafficking. We will continue to work tirelessly with our federal, state and local partners to ensure the safety and well-being of Massachusetts residents.”

“The DEA is committed to investigating drug traffickers who distribute cocaine to the citizens of Massachusetts,” said Stephen P. Belleau, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “Illegal drug distribution is destroying the foundations of our families and communities. Every time we take these poisons off the streets, lives are saved. This investigation demonstrates the strength of the joint efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

On March 29, 2023, Lira-Mendez was observed in Littleton driving a car with a temporary Texas license plate that crossed a double yellow line. During a subsequent traffic stop, 20 kilograms of cocaine were found in a holdall in the back seat of the vehicle. A subsequent investigation revealed that the Mexican drug cartel Cártel del Noreste had installed a private tracking device in the vehicle. GPS data obtained from the device revealed that the two men traveled at least 32 hours from Texas to Massachusetts – with the cocaine hidden in the vehicle's doors – to distribute the narcotics in Lawrence.

Hernandez pleaded guilty on April 18, 2024 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 23, 2024.

Both counts carry a sentence of at least 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. After serving the sentence imposed, deportation proceedings will be initiated against the defendant. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and laws governing the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Levy and Acting DEA-SAC Belleau made the announcement. Littleton police provided assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel R. Feldman and K. Nathaniel Yeager of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.

Anna Harden

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