Odessa Man Pleads Guilty In Federal Drug Case 11/20/12
U.S. Attorney's Office
(Midland)- United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that this afternoon in Midland, Rigoberto Marquez, 37, of Odessa, pleaded guilty to participating in a multi-state conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the summer and fall of 2011.
Entering his plea before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts, Marquez admitted that working as an Odessa-based long-haul truck driver in July 2011, he actively attempted to recruit another local truck driver to transport cocaine from the Tucson, Arizona, to the Columbus, Ohio, area, and then transport proceeds from cocaine sales back to Arizona.
The other truck driver reported Marquez’s entreaties to authorities, and became an informant for the FBI. Under the direction of agents, the truck driver recorded several conversations with Marquez over the summer and fall.
In these conversations, Marquez showed the truck driver where to hide cocaine and cash in his truck so that authorities would not find it, and boasted of the number of trips he had taken previously to Ohio carrying drugs on behalf of a Mexico-based trafficking organization.
Marquez further admitted that on November 18, 2011, Kentucky State Police, near Elizabethtown, located approximately $307,000 in cash hidden in interior panels of the Freightliner truck he was driving, which had departed Columbus earlier that day.
Marquez acknowledged that this money was proceeds of drug sales.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Marquez will face between 7 and 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, when he is sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Harry Lee Hudspeth in approximately 90 days. The cash seized in Kentucky has already been forfeited by federal authorities.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John S. Klassen.
The matter was investigated by the FBI and the Kentucky State Police.