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Contraband
05/08/2013

North Carolina drug ring leader sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

STATESVILLE, N.C. — The leader of a North Carolina drug trafficking conspiracy was sentenced Monday to serve ten years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.

The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Yadkin County Sheriff's Office.

Norberto Rivera Aguilar, 26, of Mexico, pleaded guilty one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from in or about 2010 to in or about August 2011, Aguilar and five others were involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed cocaine and methamphetamine in Iredell County and elsewhere in North Carolina. Court records show that the drugs were smuggled in the U.S. from a Mexican supply source.

The five other defendants in this case have already been sentenced:

  • Caritino Mujica-Vargas, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced in February 2013 to 10 years in prison and four years of supervised release. Mujica-Vargas had also pleaded guilty to a firearm violation.
  • Francisco Javier Teodoro-Campuzano, 22, of Mexico, was sentenced in February 2013 to 43 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
  • Marco Antonio Sosa-Caderilla, 26, of Mexico, was sentenced in December 2012 to 24 months in prison and one year of supervised release.
  • Carolina Olivia Hernandez, 20, of Mexico, was sentenced in February 2013 to a time-served sentence of approximately 18 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
  • Oscar Leal Martinez, 47, of Yadkinville, N.C. was charged in a separate indictment and pleaded guilty in February 2012 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced in February 2013 to 60 months in prison and four years of supervised release.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, Aguilar led the organization in the Statesville area, and Mujica-Vargas was the primary source of supply out of Winston-Salem. Law enforcement conducted a dozen purchases of narcotics totaling more than two kilograms of cocaine and approximately three ounces of methamphetamine from the organization. On the date of the arrests in August 2011, law enforcement searched Mujica-Vargas' residence and seized a press for forming kilogram blocks of cocaine, a digital scale, $5,000 in U.S. currency, two handguns and a rifle. Mujica-Vargas kept one of the handguns in a flower pot in the living room near the entry to his home.

All defendants are currently in federal custody. They will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of federal facilities. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman.