The leader of a drug trafficking and money laundering organization operating out of the Zapata, Texas, area from approximately June 2006 through June 2011 has pleaded guilty, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Pedro Navarro Jr, 36, of Zapata, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Guillermo Garcia to his roles in moving marijuana and methamphetamine and laundering proceeds from drug sales.
At his plea hearing a short time ago, Navarro admitted that between February 2008 and June 2011, he was responsible for transporting numerous loads of controlled substances from the Zapata area to other parts of Texas and beyond. Some of these drug loads were seized by law enforcement, including numerous loads of marijuana totaling thousands of kilograms and approximately five kilograms of methamphetamine which was seized in Beasley, Texas, on or about April 5, 2011.
Today, Navarro also admitted he was a member and leader of the drug trafficking conspiracy responsible for these marijuana and methamphetamine loads. In addition to being responsible for transporting drugs, he also admitted he used a residence on Falcon Lake to store the marijuana after it had been smuggled from Mexico into the United States.
This marijuana would normally be ferried across the lake from Mexico at night in small boats, which would pull up to his residence on the lake where individuals would then unload the marijuana. Later, Navarro would then ensure the marijuana was loaded into passenger vehicles at the residence which would be driven to wherever the drugs were headed.
Navarro also admitted today that he conspired with others to launder money, which represented the proceeds of his drug trafficking. He agreed to transport large amounts of United States currency, which were the proceeds of drug trafficking, from the Zapata area to Mexico, and hid did so with the intention of promoting the continued operation of his drug trafficking business. Navarro specifically agreed to help transport this money to Mexico, where it would be given to other members of the drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies.
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