News Release
Date: March 14, 2012
Contact: Lisa A. Webb Johnson
Number: 713-693-3000

Long Time Fugitive Pleads Guilty

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Juan Becerra Vallejo, 53, has just pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña announced today. Vallejo, a resident alien from Mexico who resides in Weslaco, Texas, was indicted in 2009 at which time the court issued a warrant for his arrest. He was apprehended on Oct. 27, 2011.

The charges against Vallejo stem from a January 2005 investigation conducted by the DEA. That investigation led to the discovery that Noel Exinia, of La Feria, Texas, and owner of NE and Family Transport, used one of his company’s tractor trailers to deliver approximately 234 kilograms of cocaine from the Rio Grande Valley to New York City. It was later discovered that Vallejo made the arrangements with Exinia for the transportation of the narcotics load to New York City and had caused the distribution of the load to Exinia for this purpose.

Today, Vallejo pleaded guilty to the charge at a hearing before U.S. District Hilda G. Tagle, who has set sentencing for June 11, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. At that time, Vallejo faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment as well as a $4 million fine. He has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending sentencing.

As a result of the overall Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, $805,416 in illegal drug proceeds has been seized.

Exinia himself pleaded guilty after hearing four days of evidence at a jury trial in October 2005. He was later sentenced to 600 months in federal prison.

The OCDETF investigation was conducted by the DEA, FBI, Border Patrol, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the United States Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Israel Cano III and Charles Lewis.