International Drug Trafficking Organization Member Sentenced for Trafficking Over a Thousand Kilograms of Cocaine

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RICHMOND, Va. – A Guatemalan national was sentenced today to 172 months in prison for his role as a maritime transportation manager in a large-scale Guatemalan drug trafficking organization (DTO). 

According to court documents, beginning in 2016, Amilcar Chavez-Barrera, 42, conspired to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine for distribution into the United States. Chavez-Barrera managed and coordinated the maritime transportation of cocaine off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala onto the Guatemalan mainland. In this leadership role, Chavez-Barrera worked for a maritime transportation cell contracted by the DTO and managed the boats that picked up cocaine loads approximately 100 miles off the coast of Guatemala and transported the cocaine to the Guatemalan mainland. Chavez-Barrera coordinated the maritime transportation of 1,500 kilograms of cocaine from the Pacific Ocean to mainland Guatemala, where the cocaine was offloaded for further ground transportation through Central America.

On July 1, 2020, Luis Pedro Fuentes Amaya, a co-defendant of Chavez-Barrera, was sentenced to 192 months for his role in the cocaine trafficking conspiracy on behalf of the DTO. On August 10, 2021, Edi Donaldo Barrera-Salguero, another co-defendant of Chavez-Barrera, was sentenced to 210 months for his role in the cocaine trafficking conspiracy on behalf of the DTO. 

This prosecution is part of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Hart Mansfield and Erik S. Siebert prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-18.

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