August 12, 2015
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7124
Johnston County Trafficker Sentenced For Cocaine Conspiracy
NEW BERN, N.C. - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Francisco Arrollo-Silva, 27, of Clayton, North Carolina, to 142 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and laundering monetary instruments. Arrollo-Silva previously pleaded guilty to these charges on August 14, 2014.
The investigation of Arrollo-Silva began in April 2013 when the Drug Enforcement Administration learned that Arrollo-Silva planned to provide a money courier in excess of $200,000 in drug proceeds that were destined for a cocaine trafficking organization in Mexico. On April 16, 2013, Arrollo-Silva met with a DEA undercover agent posing as the money courier in Clayton, N.C., and gave the agent $214,801.
During the summer of 2013, agents learned that Fabio Hirochi Inoue of Anaheim, California, was delivering multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine to Arrollo-Silva, Jose Luis Morales-Silva and Santos Penaloza-Millan. On September 22, 2013 agents arrested Inoue at Raleigh Durham International Airport after seizing from his luggage 3,891 grams of cocaine that was destined for Arrollo-Silva, Morales-Silva and Penaloza-Millan.
On November 4, 2013, agents used a confidential informant to buy 9 ounces of cocaine from Arrollo-Silva at a stash house located off of Sanders Road near Willow Springs, N.C. The informant saw an additional half kilogram of cocaine at the house. Morales-Silva and Penaloza-Millan were also present during the cocaine sale.
On February 14, 2014, agents arrested Arrollo-Silva and Penaloza-Millan at Penaloza-Millan’s house located at 1199 S. Pleasant Coates Road in Benson, North Carolina. In the house, agents found 3.8 kilograms of cocaine, a cocaine press, a vacuum sealer, digital scales, firearms, ammunition and a shrine with statues and burning candles, commonly used by drug traffickers to protect them from being arrested.
Morales-Silva and Penaloza-Millan have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; their sentencing hearings are pending. On June 10, 2015, Judge Flanagan sentenced Inoue to 51 months and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
This case was part of OCDETF Operation “Smokin’ Aces”. Operation “Smokin’ Aces” was designed to attack the infrastructure of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations operating not only in the Eastern District of North Carolina, but throughout North Carolina, the United States and Mexico. These organizations are responsible for the importation of large quantities of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine into the United States, as well as the related remittance of illegal drug proceeds back into Mexico.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenville Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division. The federal prosecution was handled by Special Assistant United States Attorney Glenn Perry. Mr. Perry is a prosecutor with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office. Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb has assigned Mr. Perry to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. Mr. Perry’s assignment to the United States Attorney’s Office has been made possible by grants funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.