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March 17, 2023Lincoln, NE, United StatesNarcotics

HSI investigation leads to guilty verdict for Mexican national found conspiring to distribute drugs

LINCOLN, Neb. — Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kansas City Taekuk Cho and U.S. Attorney Steven Russell announced that a federal judge found Servando V. Urias, 48, of Mexico, guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. The guilty plea followed a joint investigation between HSI and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and a three-day jury trial under U.S. District Court Judge John M. Gerrard in Lincoln .

The evidence presented at trial revealed that on Aug. 28, 2019, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office stopped one of Urias’ co-defendants, who was driving a Dodge pickup truck, after they committed traffic infractions on Interstate 80 in Lancaster County. Simultaneously, another Lancaster County deputy stopped a black Jeep occupied by Urias and two other co-defendants because officials believed the Jeep was traveling with the Dodge pickup.

During the traffic stops, deputies suspected that parties in both vehicles were involved in criminal activity. Deputies received permission to search both vehicles and discovered three kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin in the Dodge pickup’s rear seat. Officials arrested all the suspects after confirming that the three people in the Jeep were traveling with the Dodge containing the drugs. Testimony at trial indicated that the heroin belonged to Urias and that he went on the trip to sell it to an unnamed buyer.

The three co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges and are pending sentencing. Urias’ sentencing has been set for June 9, 2023.

This case was the result of an investigation by HSI and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

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 your community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.