DANVILLE, Va. – A Danville, Virginia man, who spent two years as a fugitive after embezzling $600,000 from a Danville credit union before being arrested in Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to federal charges stemming from his conduct in both Virginia and North Carolina.
Jorge Omar Navarro, 30, pleaded guilty today in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime for his conduct in Durham. Navarro also pleaded guilty to federal charges arising out of the Western District of Virginia: one count of embezzlement and one count of using counterfeit currency with the intent to commit fraud for his conduct in Danville.
“A unique course of criminality culminated in today’s guilty plea, which ensures that the defendant will be sentenced for the entire range of his misconduct,” said Sandra J. Hairston, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. “Credit for putting an end to the spree goes to officers of the Durham Police Department, whose thoroughness revealed that the defendant was in fact a drug trafficker and a fugitive from justice.
“This defendant used his position of trust within the credit union to gain access to large sums of money only to abuse that trust in the name of greed,” United States Attorney Chris Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia said today. “Fortunately, the men and women of the Danville Police Department acted swiftly and were able to keep all of the counterfeit bills in this case from making their way into circulation.”
Navarro was the head teller at a branch of URW Federal Credit Union in Danville. As head teller, Navarro had access to the vault and authority to order money for the branch. In September 2018, Navarro fled after taking $600,000 in cash from the credit union’s vaults and replacing it with counterfeit bills. Navarro spent two years as a fugitive.
Navarro remined a fugitive until March 2021, when the Durham Police Department in North Carolina responded to a report of shots fired and found a man (later identified as Navarro) covered in blood who claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint. After obtaining a search warrant for the premises, they located multiple firearms, kilograms of cocaine and marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and $74,000 in cash. Navarro later admitted to investigators that he obtained the cash by selling drugs and confirmed his true identity, admitting that he had been using an alias after an incident with a bank in Virginia.
At sentencing, he faces a minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum penalty of life. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Danville Police Department, the United States Secret Service, the Durham Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric L. Iverson for the Middle District of North Carolina and Rachel Barish Swartz for the Western District of Virginia.