A Miami, Florida man was sentenced Thursday to 235 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Julio Rodriguez-Diaz, 50, was named in a federal indictment filed on February 19, 2020. On March 5, 2020, after a four-day trial, Rodriguez-Diaz was convicted on all charges in federal court in Raleigh.
According to the investigation, Rodriguez-Diaz, was a member of the Gulf Cartel Drug Trafficking Organization and conspired with a co-defendant, Eugenio Carlos-Alfonso, who pled guilty on the day of trial, to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 kilograms of cocaine from South Texas to Johnston County, North Carolina via tractor-trailer.
The 50 kilograms were hidden in the trailer of the tractor-trailer when stopped by deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for speeding. A law enforcement canine alerted on the trailer and as a result, two duffle bags containing the 50 kilograms of cocaine were found and seized.
Rodriguez-Diaz, a passenger, and the driver of the truck, Eugenio Carlos-Alfonso, were taken into custody, but claimed no knowledge of the drugs.
Following their arrest, law enforcement learned that Rodriguez-Diaz and his co-defendant were couriers who worked for the Gulf Cartel. To date, this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation, entitled Relentless Pursuit, has resulted in the indictment of eight defendants and the seizure of over 67 kilograms of cocaine and approximately $2.2 million in US currency.