MAR 29 (CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) - A federal jury in Corpus Christi has returned guilty verdicts against Edilberto Maso Diaz, 55, of Mesquite, on all counts as charged in a marijuana conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division. The jury deliberated for less than five hours today before convicting Diaz of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and three separate counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
The conspiracy, which occurred primarily in 2013, involved more than 2,200 kilograms of marijuana.
During the two-day trial, the government presented testimony that Diaz owned a small trucking company, E & E Trucking, and conspired with others to transport marijuana within his tractor trailers concealed amongst a load of produce. One of the co-conspirators would obtain the marijuana from Mexico. Two drivers that worked for E & E Trucking would drive one of Diaz’s tractor trailers to the Rio Grande Valley to pick up a load of produce and would then proceed to another location to load the marijuana.
The government presented 10 witnesses which included testimony regarding three seizures of marijuana at the Border Patrol Checkpoint near Falfurrias - 1,110 kilograms, 348 kilograms and 815 kilograms on March 27, May 10, and Sept. 6, 2013, respectively. In each instance, law enforcement arrested the driver and seized the marijuana that was concealed in Diaz’s tractor trailers. Each seizure of marijuana was intended for delivery to the Dallas area and the proceeds shared amongst Diaz and his co-conspirators.
Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack presided over the trial and will set sentencing at a later date. At that time, Diaz faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad W. Cowan and Amanda Gould are prosecuting the case.
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