News Release
Date: May 18, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314)538-4670

Foreign National Pleads Guilty in Marijuana Trafficking Case

MAY 18 - (EAST ST. LOUIS, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on May 17, 2010, FRANCISCO JAVIER-RIVERA, age 36, a Mexican National, pled guilty in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois, to a two-count Indictment charging him with one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 100 Kilograms or More of Marijuana (Count 1), and one count of Unlawful Entry into the United States Without Inspection (Count 2).

At his change of plea hearing, JAVIER-RIVERA admitted that he is an illegal alien, and that he had possessed approximately 242 kilograms (532 pounds) of marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

According to information presented in open court, JAVIER-RIVERA was driving a refrigerated truck when he was stopped on Interstate 70 near Troy, Illinois, for a traffic offense on February 23, 2010 JAVIER-RIVERA gave police written consent to search the cargo portion of his truck. Police then discovered 242 kilograms of marijuana concealed beneath a load of 37,000 pounds of spaghetti squash.

Sentencing is currently set for August 23, 2010, in the United States District Court in East St.Louis, Illinois. JAVIER-RIVERA faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, and a maximum possible sentence of 40 years, as well as a fine of up to $2 million, and a term of at least 4 years of supervised release on Count 1. As to Count 2, JAVIER-RIVERA will face a sentence of not more than 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, and a 1 year term of supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.