Leader of International Cocaine Trafficking Organization Based Out of Benson, North Carolina Sentenced to 15 Years

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BENSON, N.C. – A Mexican national was sentenced today to 180 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine (Count One); and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and aiding and abetting (Count Two).

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According to court documents and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bernave Millan-Rascon, also known as “Berna,” 40 years old, was one of two leaders of an international cocaine trafficking organization based in Mexico. Millan-Rascon directed the shipment of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Mexico into Texas, and then into other parts of the United States, including the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Agents conducted a wiretap investigation and seized 16 kilograms of cocaine, $173,100, and two firearms in Benson, North Carolina and Willow Spring, North Carolina. During the wiretap, agents recorded phone calls in which the Defendant directed the shipment of large amounts of cocaine into North Carolina.  The Defendant was extradited from Colombia, South America for prosecution in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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Three co-conspirators have previously been convicted and sentenced: Carlos Miranda Lopez (120 months’ imprisonment); Francisco Javier Rascon-Millan (12 months and 1-day imprisonment); and Malcolm Jamar Hird (120 months’ imprisonment).

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Millan-Rascon. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Wilson Police Department, the Raleigh Police Department, the Rocky Mount Police Department, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon prosecuted the case.

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