Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

June 18, 2003

Contact: SA Heath Anderson

Phone Number: 202-305-8500

Man Indicted For Drug Trafficking After Over 800 Lbs. Of Marijuana Seized

JUN 18--Greenbelt, Maryland - Thomas M. DiBiagio, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Samuel Estrada, Jr., age 27, of Bell. California, today for crimes committed in connection with the distribution and conspiracy to distribute over 1000 kilograms of marijuana from California to Maryland.

The two-count indictment charges Estrada with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana from about January, 2001 to June 5, 2003, as well as possessing with intent to distribute at least 100 kilograms of marijuana on or about June 5, 2003. The defendant was taken into custody after a truck with a secret compartment containing over 800 pounds of marijuana was seized by law enforcement officials in Arkansas.

The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4 million. The maximum penalty for the possession charge is 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million. The defendant's next court appearance will be an arraignment to be set in the next few weeks, at which time a trial date will be determined.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

The criminal charges in this indictment are the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Montgomery County Department of Police, Arkansas State .Police, and the United States Attorney's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Trusty.

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