“Suicide Squad” sentenced for trafficking drugs worth over $1.6M – Department of Justice
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McALLEN, Texas – Three individuals have been sent to prison for conspiracy to import heroin and fentanyl into the United States from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Elias Herrera, 31, Liz Jomayra Diaz-Colon, 23, and Jonathan Guemez, 30, all previously pleaded guilty and admitted they admitted they had conspired together to import the drugs into the United States. All are from Nashville, Tennessee.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane imposed a 87-month term of imprisonment for Herrera to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard Herrera had recruited his co-defendants and smuggled heroin and fentanyl for a period of eight months prior to his arrest. In handing down the prison terms, Judge Crane noted Herrera’s extensive involvement in drug smuggling as a recruiter and organizer.
Diaz-Colon and Guemez were previously sentenced to 36 and 87 months in federal prison, respectively, and must serve four years on supervised release.
In 2021, Diaz-Colon, Herrera and Guemez began working with Mexican drug traffickers to coordinate transportation of multiple drug loads into the United States.
On Aug. 20, 2021, Diaz-Colon attempted to pass through a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint. A K-9 alerted to her vehicle which resulted in the discovery of 4.66 kilograms of heroin concealed in the battery of her Jeep Cherokee.
The following day, Herrera attempted to enter the United States. Authorities also discovered narcotics in his vehicle – 4.76 kilograms of fentanyl in the car’s battery.
Guemez also attempted to bring drugs into the country. Law enforcement was able to seize 3.94 kilograms of heroin from his vehicle.
The investigation connected all three people. It revealed they had been communicating with each other through WhatsApp, referring to themselves as the “Suicide Squad.”
At the time of their pleas, they admitted they had conspired together to import a total of 8.6 kilograms of heroin and 4.76 kilograms of fentanyl into the United States. The drugs have an estimated street value of approximately $1,622,880.
Herrera will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez prosecuted the case.
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