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January 27, 2023Omaha, NE, United StatesNarcotics

Federal jury convicts Nebraska man for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

OMAHA, Neb. — Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kansas City Taekuk Cho and U.S. Attorney Steven Russell announced that on Jan. 27, a federal jury in the District of Nebraska found Omaha resident Gilberto Aguilar-Beltran, 46, guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On May 12, 2021, Omaha Police observed Aguilar-Beltran, driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, meet up with two people driving a black SUV at a Taco Bell on South 42nd Street. A male from the black SUV got into Aguilar-Beltran’s Jeep and they briefly drove around before returning to the Taco Bell. The male returned to the black SUV and departed at the same time as Aguilar-Beltran did. Omaha Police stopped the SUV, conducted dog sniff search, and then searched the vehicle themselves. Officers recovered approximately one pound of meth and arrested the driver and passenger.

Following this apparent drug transaction, Omaha Police Department detectives gathered additional evidence of Aguilar-Beltran’s involvement in methamphetamine distribution. On July 15, 2021, officers executed a search warrant at Aguilar-Beltran’s home, locating distribution quantities of methamphetamine, cash, and a digital scale and packaging materials consistent with drug trafficking.

Investigators further determined through deconfliction and cooperation with federal investigative agencies that Aguilar-Beltran’s activities in furtherance of drug trafficking extended beyond methamphetamine distribution. A cooperating witness testified at trial that Aguilar-Beltran collected thousands of dollars in proceeds from methamphetamine sales for the organization. Additional witnesses testified that Aguilar-Beltran allowed the detached garage at his residence to be used over a period of several years for the regular off-loading of dozens of pounds of methamphetamine from a “trap” car that had been driven repeatedly to Omaha from the southwest border. The methamphetamine from the trap car was intended for distribution in Nebraska.

United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher presided over the jury trial and will sentence Aguilar-Beltran on April 27, 2023.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat drug trafficking in our community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.