News Release
October 07, 2008
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
Number: 404-893-7124

Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Possessing with Intent to
Distribute Over 900 Pounds of Marijuana

OCT 07-- RALEIGH, NC - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today, FERNANDO MICHAEL NUNEZ, 25, of La Puente, California, plead guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, to possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), which carries a maximum penalty of up to 40 years imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release and a maximum fine of up to $2,000,000.

On September 4, 2008, a Criminal Information was filed. On August 14, 2007, a Granville County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol on US Hwy 15 in Creedmoor, North Carolina, when he stopped a vehicle for speeding, that contained NUNEZ as a passenger. The driver appeared very nervous which made the deputy suspicious. Consent to search the car was asked for and given. During the search, nine cardboard boxes containing 901 pounds of marijuana were found. The driver then admitted to traveling to Laredo, Texas to pick-up the marijuana for another individual. NUNEZ was to be paid $15,000 to pick-up and deliver the marijuana to a residence in Oxford, North Carolina.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) said of the guilty plea, “Marijuana is a dangerous drug that poses a clear and present danger to the community. Because of the collective efforts of our local, state and federal law enforcement counterparts, this defendant was brought justice.”

United States Attorney George Holding commented, “As in many cases, it was the quick work of a local law enforcement officer which uncovered this crime. Had the deputy not been vigilant and well-trained, this crime might have gone undetected. We commend the deputy for this vigilance.”

NUNEZ’s Sentencing Hearing is set for January 26, 2009.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and the Creedmoor Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government.

DEA AFD SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at and