A 42-year-old Baytown man has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown on June 14.
Jose Quiroga pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to money launder today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.
According to information presented in court, Quiroga served as a narcotics and bulk currency courier for a drug trafficking organization led by Eugenio Cerda. This organization was responsible for trafficking cocaine and fentanyl from the Houston area to Beaumont and further east into Louisiana and Mississippi. On June 17, 2017, Quiroga was stopped by law enforcement officers in Beaumont driving a truck registered to Cerda. Agents discovered $51,040 cash, which was the proceeds of a two-kilogram cocaine delivery, concealed in a hidden compartment of the truck’s tailgate. Further investigation revealed Quiroga distributed approximately nine kilograms of cocaine for Cerda. Quiroga was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 10, 2018.
Under federal statutes, Quiroga faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Rapp.