A man from Mexico pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Raleigh to conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
According to federal court documents and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bernave Millan-Rascon, also known as “Berna,” 40 years old, was one of two leaders of an international cocaine trafficking organization based in Mexico. Millan-Rascon directed the shipment of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Mexico into Texas, and then into other parts of the United States, including the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Agents conducted a wiretap investigation on December 19, 2016 and seized 16 kilograms of cocaine, $173,100, and two firearms in Benson and Willow Spring, North Carolina. During the wiretap, agents recorded phone calls in which Millan-Rascon directed the shipment of large amounts of cocaine into North Carolina.
He was extradited from Colombia, South America for prosecution in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Millan-Rascon faces no less than ten years’ imprisonment, and a maximum of life imprisonment, when he is sentenced during the court’s November 2020 term.
Three co-conspirators have previously been convicted and sentenced: Carlos Miranda Lopez (120 months’ imprisonment); Francisco Javier Rascon-Millan (12 months and 1 day imprisonment); and Malcolm Jamar Hird (120 months’ imprisonment).
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the plea. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Wilson Police Department, Raleigh Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office Nash County Sheriff’s Office, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott A. Lemmon is prosecuting the case.