Feds get guilty verdict against cartel cocaine trafficker who moved product into Virginia

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NORFOLK, Va. – On Friday, a federal jury convicted a Kennewick, Washington man on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and distribution of cocaine.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Juan Gabriel Rodriguez-Preciado, 43, facilitated the trafficking of kilogram quantities of cocaine between a Mexican cartel and a regional drug trafficking organization (DTO) run by Adian Barth, 35, of Chesterfield. During July and August 2019, Rodriguez-Preciado stayed at a Richmond residence owned by Barth to assist him in a cocaine drug trafficking conspiracy. From that residence, Rodriguez-Preciado distributed approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine every other week to members of Barth’s DTO over a two-month period. In return, Rodriguez-Preciado collected approximately $30,000 per kilogram, which he funneled back to Mexico.

“The jury’s verdict holds the defendant accountable for dangerously facilitating the distribution of significant quantities of cocaine between an international drug cartel and a regional drug trafficking organization,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “EDVA is grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly on this case to protect the public and pursue justice against those who placed profits over the well-being of our communities.”

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“I’m really proud that my team was able to help shutdown this significant, international drug trafficking operation that threatened the health and safety of Virginians,” said Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia. “We appreciate our continuing, productive partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all the partner agencies who work each and every day to keep Virginians safe.”

Rodriguez-Preciado faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 60 years in prison when sentenced on November 29. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

On May 11, Barth was sentenced to 225 months in prison for charges of conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of cocaine.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division; and Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar accepted the verdict.

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